NBA Trade Rumors: Trail Blazers Could Land Kevin Love For Hassan Whiteside And Protected 2021 1st-Round Pick

Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts to a first half basket while playing the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena on January 27, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan.
Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

From the time LeBron James left in the summer of 2018, rumors have already been swirling nonstop around Kevin Love and his future with the Cleveland Cavaliers. They may insist they still view the big man as part of their long-term future but with the team currently in the middle of the rebuilding process, the All-Star power forward is clearly an odd fit on their roster. As of now, Love is arguably better off being traded to a legitimate contender before next week’s trade deadline than wasting his prime playing for a rebuilding organization.

One of the most intriguing landing spots for Love is the Portland Trail Blazers. According to Dan Mennella of CBS Sports Radio, the Blazers could offer a trade package including Hassan Whiteside and a protected 2021 first-round pick to the Cavaliers in exchange for Love. The proposed trade deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.

“In this deal, the Blazers add Love to their nucleus for this season and two more, at the cost of a first-rounder,” Mennella wrote. “It’s not cheap, but Love isn’t a rental, and his arrival would be insurance for Jusuf Nurkic, who has missed the entire season to date while rehabbing compound fractures in his leg and remains without a firm timetable for his return.”

Though it would cost them a future first-round pick, trading for a player of Love’s caliber makes a lot of sense for the Trail Blazers, especially if they are really serious about contending for a championship this season. The Trail Blazers may have the explosive backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum and 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony, but they are still currently out of the playoff race.

Love may not be as dominant as LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, or Paul George, but his potential arrival in Portland could undeniably help the Blazers turn things around in the 2019-20 NBA season. The 31-year-old would give the Trail Blazers an All-Star caliber big man who can knock down shots from beyond the arc and can efficiently coexist with flashier stars.

Aside from being a reliable scoring option, Love is also an incredible rebounder, facilitator, and floor-spacer. This season, the power forward is averaging 17.5 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists while shooting 45.4 percent from the field and 38.4 percent from beyond the arc.

Meanwhile, the suggested trade package may not be what the Cavaliers are expecting for Love. However, with his expensive contract and health issues, it remains a big question mark if there will be a team that is willing to pay the Cavaliers’ asking price for the All-Star power forward.