August 10, 2019
NBA Rumors: Houston Rockets Could Fill Out Title-Contending Roster With Trade For Kevin Love

The Houston Rockets did all they could to keep pace with the Western Conference's heavy hitters this summer, but a new report suggests the team could have one more move to round out the roster -- a trade for Kevin Love.

The Rockets already pulled off a trade for Russell Westbrook with a suddenly-rebuilding Oklahoma City Thunder team but will have to keep pace with the Los Angeles Clippers who landed Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, as well as the Los Angeles Lakers, who added Anthony Davis to play alongside LeBron James. As Bleacher Report noted, adding big man Kevin Love to the guard tandem of Westbrook and James Harden could put the Rockets over the hump in the competitive conference.

The report explored potential trade destinations for Love, noting that it could be a worthwhile gamble for the Rockets if Love can stay healthy and productive, though that has been a struggle for the UCLA big man throughout his NBA career.

It would not be easy, as the report added that it would be difficult for the Rockets to find the right package of players and picks to land Love.

"But this isn't a move without a cost. In fact, it's fairly steep," the report noted. "Unless you're moving Clint Capela, you need both Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker in the deal to make the salaries work, and Tucker was a critical component of Houston's defense the last two years."

Trading for Kevin Love would be something of an all-in move for the Rockets, who have already given up a slate of draft picks to land Westbrook. A trade for Love would likely leave the entire cupboard bare, meaning anything less than an NBA title would be a disappointment as the team would have mortgaged its future for the win-now attitude.

If the Rockets could find a way to pull off the trade, the chemistry would likely work out. As the International Business Times noted, Kevin Love has some experience playing third fiddle, as he was the third option behind LeBron James and Kyrie Irving during the Cleveland Cavaliers' title run in 2016 and settled into the role with no problems.

It's not clear if the Houston Rockets are actually considering trading for Kevin Love, or if they're thinking about any other major roster moves after landing Westbrook, for that matter. There are also no solid indications that the Cavaliers plan to put him on the trading block.