At the moment, LaMarcus Aldridge of the San Antonio Spurs and Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers are two players with similar situations — a pair of veteran big men who are among the top scorers for their respective teams, both of which are in various stages of the rebuilding process. With the Cavs almost two years into a rebuild that started when LeBron James left for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018 and the Spurs on track to miss their first playoffs in over two decades, a new report suggests that both teams just might have something to gain if Love and Aldridge swap places.
According to Bleacher Report‘s new list of blockbuster trade ideas for the 2020 offseason, the Spurs’ decision in the summer of 2018 to trade Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors for DeMar DeRozan essentially boiled down to a short-term solution to help the team remain competitive without the man who had been their best player for several seasons. But with DeRozan’s skill set as a good scorer with limited outside shooting ability unable to help “move the needle,” the outlet suggested that San Antonio could remain “relevant” by acquiring Love for Aldridge. This deal, as noted, could be what the team needs to keep contending for postseason play a little longer than expected.
???? ANNND ONE! pic.twitter.com/bTcgW6pBpY
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) December 24, 2019
Talking about Love’s potential impact if traded to the Spurs, Bleacher Report started by saying that the five-time All-Star, at 31 years old, is three years younger than Aldridge. As one of the better outside shooters among NBA big men, Love could at least partly replace the contributions of Davis Bertans, who emerged as a three-point sniper after he moved to the Washington Wizards. The UCLA product’s passing skills were also mentioned, with the outlet noting that he could become the best passer among Spurs big men since the now-retired Boris Diaw.
“Love engineering possessions from the high post or top of the key while young slashers like Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and Lonnie Walker IV cut around him could help to instantly modernize San Antonio.”
As for Aldridge, the publication stressed that he would mostly help the Cavaliers — if he gets traded to Cleveland — by allowing the team to save some salary-cap space, what with Love under contract until 2022-23 and Aldridge set to enter free agency in the summer of 2021.
While Aldridge is a seven-time All-Star who still performs at a high level at age 34, Bleacher Report predicted that the former No. 2 overall draft pick might eventually be bought out, given the terms of his contract and how he doesn’t fit the timeline of the mostly youthful Cavs roster.