With the Cleveland Cavaliers expected to suffer another huge disappointment in the 2019-20 NBA season, rumors surrounding All-Star power forward Kevin Love have started to heat up as the February trade deadline approaches. After months of insisting that they have no intention of trading him, reports have circulated that the Cavs are already listening to offers for the big man. One of the potential destinations for Love at this point in the season is the Phoenix Suns.
In his recent article, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report created his own list of 10 realistic predictions for the upcoming trade deadline. Though the Portland Trail Blazers are currently emerging as the top favorite to acquire Love, Swartz speculated that the Cavaliers star might reunite with his former Minnesota Timberwolves teammate, Ricky Rubio, in Phoenix this year.
The potential arrival of Love wouldn’t make Phoenix an instant title contender in the 2019-20 season, but Swartz believes that reuniting him with Rubio would increase their chances of ending their nine-year playoff drought.
“The Suns sit just a game-and-a-half out of the playoffs, a destination they haven’t reached since the 2009-10 season. If Love joined Phoenix, he’d reunite with Ricky Rubio, and he put up career-best numbers with Rubio as his point guard in Minnesota. Add in Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Kelly Oubre Jr., and the Suns could be one of the league’s best offensive teams.”
Love would undeniably be a great addition to the Suns, giving them an All-Star-caliber big man who is capable of efficiently knocking down shots from beyond the arc. This season, the 31-year-old center/power forward is averaging 17.0 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 2.9 assists while shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from three-point range. He may no longer fit the timeline of the face of the Suns’ franchise, Devin Booker, but if they are serious about earning a playoff spot in the deep Western Conference, trading for the All-Star big man makes a lot of sense.
Aside from being a very reliable scoring option, what makes Love a more intriguing fit with Phoenix is his ability to coexist with other NBA superstars. Given the three years he spent with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in Cleveland, he likely won’t mind serving as Booker’s sidekick in Phoenix. Also, pairing Love with a point guard like Rubio who perfectly knows his game may allow him to unleash the “Minnesota Love” that was once considered as one of the best power forwards in the league.
To acquire Love, Swartz suggested that the Suns could simply send the expiring contract of Tyler Johnson to the Cavaliers and include young players like Dario Saric and Mikal Bridges in the package to sweeten the deal. In the potential trade, the Cavaliers could also demand the inclusion of a future first-round pick as well.