As they continue to struggle in the 2019-20 NBA season, rumors surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers have started to heat up. After months of insisting they have no intention of undergoing a full-scale rebuild, the Cavaliers are now expected to move some of their veterans before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. In the potential deal involving veteran big men Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson, the Boston Celtics could express a strong interest in engaging in a trade negotiation with the Cavaliers.
Since the departure of Al Horford in the 2019 NBA free agency, the Celtics have been active on the trade market, searching for a big man who could fill the hole Horford left on their roster. According to Andre Hughes of Fansided’s Hardwood Houdini, the potential arrival of Love and Thompson would not only address the Celtics’ major problem in their frontcourt, but it would also strengthen their chance of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and contending for the NBA championship title in the 2019-20 NBA season.
“Both Love and Thompson are, in fact, NBA Champions, helping the Cavaliers to their first title in franchise history back in 2016. As we’ve stated multiple times, Love is a sensational scoring and rebounding stretch big that would certainly help spread the floor on offense. Thompson, on the other hand, is more of a defensive-oriented big who would easily serve as the team’s starting center. Year nine is showing signs of potentially being Tristan Thompson’s best year as a pro. In 31 minutes per game, the 28-year-old is averaging 13.6 points, 10 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game on 51% shooting from the floor.”
In the proposed trade deal by Fansided’s Hardwood Houdini, the Celtics would be sending a trade package that would include Gordon Hayward, Daniel Theis, Enes Kanter, Semi Ojeleye, the Memphis Grizzlies’ 2020 first-round pick, and their own 2020 first-round pick to the Cavaliers in exchange for Love and Thompson. Though the deal works financially, both NBA teams would still be needing to wait until mid-January to include Theis in the trade.
Giving up all those assets would undeniably be a tough decision for the Celtics. With the league now wide open, however, Danny Ainge should do everything he can to improve their current roster. Acquiring an All-Star power forward in Love and a defensive-minded big man in Thompson would further boost the Celtics’ offensive and defensive efficiency that currently rank No. 7 and No. 6 in the league respectively, according to ESPN.
For the Cavaliers, the potential deal would be a no-brainer. Aside from having salary cap relief, Cleveland would be receiving a young and promising talent in Ojeleye and two future first-round picks that could help them speed up their rebuilding process.