The explosive backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum reached another milestone in the 2018-19 NBA season when they led the Portland Trail Blazers to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2000. However, after being swept by the Golden State Warriors in a best-of-seven series, it’s becoming more clear that the Trail Blazers need additional star power to contend for the NBA championship title.
The Warriors may have weakened after the departure of Kevin Durant in the 2019 NBA free agency, but the Western Conference has become more competitive with the birth of new powerhouse teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers this summer. According to Preston Ellis of Bleacher Report, the Trail Blazers may consider trading for Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers as an “all-in move” to have a legitimate chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and winning the NBA championship title in the 2019-20 NBA season.
“From Portland’s perspective, Love is still useful. In 2018-19, he played only 22 games but finished with 22.5 points, 14.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists per 36 minutes. He did shoot just 36.1 percent from three-point range, his least effective rate in three years, but his would-be predecessor in Portland, Al-Farouq Aminu, only met or exceeded that number twice in his four years with the team. Love would be an immediate upgrade in the Trail Blazers’ system and wouldn’t have to carry the offensive load thanks to Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.”
Correction: LeBron James won't be in the next episode of The Shop on September 3. The HBO show will feature Maverick Carter, Kevin Hart, Rob Gronkowski, Kevin Love, C.J. McCollum, Charlamagne tha God, Lil Nas X and Paul Rivera. pic.twitter.com/dmdGLxugKh— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) August 15, 2019
Kevin Love may not be on the same level as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard, but he would still be an incredible addition to the Trail Blazers, giving them an All-Star caliber big man who can knock down shots from beyond the arc. What makes Love a more intriguing acquisition for the Trail Blazers is his ability to efficiently play alongside other NBA superstars. After spending three years with Kyrie Irving and LeBron James in Cleveland, Love definitely won’t mind serving as the Trail Blazers’ third scoring option behind Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
However, despite the potential benefits of acquiring him, Ellis believes that the Trail Blazers should only consider trading for Kevin Love if the Cavaliers wouldn’t demand a young and promising player or a future first-round pick in return. In the proposed trade deal by Ellis, the Trail Blazers will only be sending the expiring contract of Hassan Whiteside to the Cavaliers for Love. The deal would help the Cavaliers unload Love’s lucrative contract and focus on the development of their young core. However, as of now, it remains a big question mark if the Cavaliers will consider trading Love just for the sake of freeing salary cap space.