The impressive performance of Russell Westbrook and Paul George during the regular season made most people believe that the Oklahoma City Thunder were ready to challenge the reigning NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors, for the Western Conference supremacy. Unfortunately, when the real battle began in the NBA Playoffs 2019, the Thunder didn’t even get the opportunity to face the Warriors, as they were easily eliminated by the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round.
The outcome of the 2018-19 NBA season proved that the Thunder still need additional star power in order to become considered as a legitimate title contender in the deep Western Conference. However, with the Thunder already buried deep into the luxury tax hell, the only way that they could have a massive upgrade on their roster is by taking the trade route. According to Fansided’s Hoops Habit, the Thunder could acquire a superstar while saving money by engaging in a blockbuster deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2019 NBA offseason.
In the proposed trade deal by Fansided’s Hoops Habit, the Thunder will be sending Steven Adams, Andre Roberson, and the No. 21 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft to the Cavaliers in exchange for Kevin Love and J.R. Smith. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
“For Cleveland, Steven Adams provides them with a young, defensive center who’s age aligns with the franchise’s rebuild after the departure of LeBron James. Adams has four more seasons left on his current contract, giving the Cavaliers stability in roster building moving forward. Oklahoma City’s 21st overall pick also gives Cleveland the opportunity to add a cheap, young player to their roster to compliment Cedi Osman, Collin Sexton, Larry Nance Jr., and the team’s selection with their fifth overall pick in the draft.”
https://t.co/mh1cM11Mwu Kevin Love knows firsthand how LeBron James can change a franchise, urges fans to not count them out next season.
— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) June 8, 2019
The suggested trade scenario will allow Kevin Love to reunite with his former UCLA teammate Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City. Love will be an incredible addition to the Thunder, giving them an All-Star caliber big man who has the ability to space the floor. This season, the 30-year-old center/power forward averaged 17.0 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 2.2 assists on 38.5 percent shooting from the field and 36.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
After spending three years as the Cavaliers’ third scoring option behind Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, Kevin Love definitely won’t have a hard time making himself fit alongside Thunder superstars Russell Westbrook and Paul George. J.R. Smith will give the Thunder a defense-minded guard whose three-point shooting skills once helped the Cavaliers win an NBA championship title. However, as Fansided’s Hoops Habit noted, it’s more likely for the Thunder to waive Smith after the deal as it will enable them to save $7 million in salary.