The San Antonio Spurs entered the 2019-20 NBA season with the goal of extending their playoff streak, but as of now, they have struggled to consistently win games and are currently sitting in the No. 9 spot in the Western Conference with a 5-6 record. If the Spurs want to remain a legitimate threat in the league, Matt Ellentuck of SB Nation believes that they should consider trading either DeMar DeRozan or LaMarcus Aldridge before the February trade deadline.
In the potential deal involving Aldridge, Ellentuck suggested that the Spurs could offer him, together with a young player and a future draft pick, to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Kevin Love.
“The solution is easier said than done, but for San Antonio to remain a serious competitor, they should deal either DeRozan or Aldridge,” Ellentuck wrote. “This is the hole San Antonio dug itself after dealing Leonard for much less than his worth. Kevin Love’s name is sure to float around the trade deadline, and Cleveland could sell despite a surprising start. Maybe a deal involving Aldridge and a player like Lonnie Walker or Keldon Johnson along with picks would be enticing. San Antonio could also look to sell off their stars for future assets.”
Love may have defensive issues, but he is still an upgrade for Aldridge on the Spurs’ frontcourt. Love would give the Spurs a younger, All-Star-caliber big man who is capable of knocking down shots from beyond the arc. In the 11 games he has played this season, the 31-year-old power forward is averaging 18.7 points, 12.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and one steal, while shooting 44.9 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from beyond the arc.
The potential arrival of a floor-spacing big man like Love would help Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich further improve their offensive efficiency, which currently ranks No. 8 in the league, scoring 107.2 points per 100 possessions, according to ESPN.
As of now, the Cavaliers continue to insist that they have no intention of trading Love and undergoing a full-scale rebuild. However, if they finally decide to take that route, sending him to the Spurs in exchange for a trade package including Aldridge, Lonnie Walker, and a future draft pick makes a lot of sense. The potential deal would allow the Cavaliers to unload Love’s massive contract while acquiring a young and promising talent in Walker and a future draft asset that could help them speed up the rebuilding process.
The Cavaliers could use Aldridge as a trade chip to acquire more valuable assets before the February trade deadline or in the summer of 2020. Aldridge would be an intriguing trade target for teams who want to boost their chance of contending for the NBA championship, while preserving their salary cap space for the upcoming free agency.