NBA Rumors: Kevin Love To Rockets, Clint Capela To Cavaliers In Proposed Three-Team Deal Involving Hornets

Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots over Alex Poythress #22 and Kent Bazemore #24 of the Atlanta Hawks during the second half at Quicken Loans Arena on October 21, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Jason Miller / Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers may have already addressed the rumors surrounding Kevin Love, but the All-Star power forward’s name still continues to surface in trade speculation. At this point in his NBA career, most people believe that Love is better off playing for a legitimate title contender than wasting his prime on a rebuilding team like the Cavaliers. As of now, one NBA team frequently linked to Love is the Houston Rockets.

Defense has been a major issue for the Rockets since the 2019-20 NBA season started. Per ESPN, the Rockets are currently ranked 29th in NBA’s defensive efficiency, allowing 111.7 points per 100 possessions. This proves to be a huge problem, especially with the Rockets’ goal to fully dominate the Western Conference and win the NBA championship title this season.

However, for the Rockets to become a more competitive team, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report believes that they should just focus on improving their performance on the offensive end of the floor instead of solving their defensive woes. According to Buckley, the Rockets could boost their offense by acquiring Love before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline.

“Offensive firepower has always been their key to success — Mike D’Antoni still runs the show — but they just haven’t packed enough of a punch yet. Both James Harden and Russell Westbrook are shooting below 26 percent from deep, and they’re combining to commit 9.9 turnovers per night. This offense must be better. With Kevin Love, it could be ridiculous. He has the three-ball to work as a spacer, the post game to bail them out of stagnant possessions, the outlet passes to ignite the transition game and the IQ to work wonders as a ball-screener for Harden or Westbrook.”

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To acquire Love, Buckley suggested that the Rockets could engage in a three-team deal with the Cavaliers and the Charlotte Hornets. In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Rockets would get Love, the Cavaliers would receive Clint Capela and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, while the Hornets would obtain Ben McLemore, Nene, Isaiah Hartenstein, and a 2021 second-round pick. Since Nene just signed a contract late last summer, the Rockets, Cavaliers, and the Hornets would need to wait until mid-January to push through with the deal.

If the trade becomes a reality, it would not only be beneficial for the Rockets, but also for the Hornets and the Cavaliers. In exchange for Love, the Cavaliers would add a promising big man in Capela, who fits the timeline of their young core of Collin Sexton, Cedi Osman, and Darius Garland. As compensation for helping facilitate the trade, the Hornets would get two young players in Hartenstein and McLemore and a future draft pick that could help them speed up the rebuilding process.