Despite the fact that he signed a hefty contract extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers last summer, Kevin Love has still been mentioned in a number of trade rumors. With the Cavs rebuilding after a season where they lost LeBron James to the Los Angeles Lakers and finished with a dismal 19-63 win-loss record, many have suggested that the team may be better off trading the 30-year-old power forward to a contending team that could use a solid third option on offense. One of those teams could be the Houston Rockets, a team that will be sporting a new-look, yet high-powered backcourt in the 2019-20 season when Russell Westbrook joins James Harden in the starting lineup.
As explained by Bleacher Report in a recent list of players that are “desperately” in need of a trade, there’s a good chance that Love will continue to miss the playoffs if he stays with the Cavaliers until the end of his current contract. By that time, he will be 34-years-old and presumably slightly past the prime of a career that once saw him average well over 20 points and 10 rebounds per game for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
With that in mind, the publication recommended two contending teams in the Western Conference that could benefit from a player like Love who could space the floor as a big man with three-point shooting range. These teams include the Rockets, who, per Bleacher Report, could land the former All-Star power forward by offering a package centered on veteran shooting guard Eric Gordon and defense-oriented forward P.J. Tucker.
While Bleacher Report added that the Cavaliers might ask the Rockets to sweeten the deal with a draft pick, the publication stressed that a starting lineup featuring Harden, Westbrook, and Love could turn out to be a “nightmare to defend.”
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) July 24, 2019
In addition to the suggested trade with Houston, the outlet added that Cleveland could also ship Kevin Love to his hometown Portland Trail Blazers and get recently acquired center Hassan Whiteside and his expiring contract in return. This theoretical deal, as noted, could give the Blazers a true power forward who could line up alongside center Jusuf Nurkic once he recovers from his leg injury and also “take some pressure” off high-scoring guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
Even with all the reports suggesting that the Cavaliers might consider trading Love and/or fellow veterans Tristan Thompson and Jordan Clarkson as part of their rebuilding project, it appears that the team remains committed to holding on to these established stars — at least for the meantime. As cited by ClutchPoints, an unnamed Cleveland executive recently told Keith Smith of RealGM that Love, Thompson, and Clarkson will help the young Cavs “stay competitive” but didn’t rule out the possibility of trading them to another team “if the right opportunity comes up.”