The Philadelphia 76ers may not be a favorite to win the NBA championship title in the 2019-20 season, but they are still not expected to break their young dynamic duo of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Instead of immediately giving up on the pairing, the Sixers are planning to find players that complement their two superstars. Though the 2020 NBA free agency isn’t as star-studded as the previous offseason, there are still plenty of big names that the Sixers could target on the trade market, including Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the Sixers could acquire Love from the Cavaliers by sending a trade package that includes Al Horford, Zhaire Smith, and a 2020 second-round pick. The proposed trade deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. Though it would cost them a young player and a future draft pick, the deal should be a no-brainer for Philadelphia.
Aside from successfully getting rid of Horford’s lucrative deal, the potential acquisition of Love would enable the Sixers to form their own “Big Three” with Simmons and Embiid and help them improve their three-point shooting.
“The Sixers are desperate for outside shooting. Kevin Love has 1,223 career three-pointers and a 37.0 percent perimeter connection rate. That’s most of the appeal from Philly’s perspective, although his outlet passing could grow even more potent with an explosive finisher like Ben Simmons on the receiving end of those touchdown throws.”
Though adding a defensive liability like Love would give Embiid a tougher frontcourt assignment on defense, bringing the All-Star power forward to the City of Brotherly Love would make them a much better team on the offensive end of the floor. Love could attack the rim and efficiently knock down shots from beyond the arc. With his ability to excel in an off-ball capacity, he isn’t expected to have a hard time building chemistry with ball-dominant stars like Embiid and Simmons.
Meanwhile, if the trade becomes a reality, it would not only be beneficial for the Sixers, but also for the Cavaliers. In exchange for Love, the Cavaliers would acquire a young player in Smith and a future draft pick that could help them speed up the rebuilding process. The potential deal won’t enable the Cavaliers to save money, but they could receive some benefits by trading Love for Horford. As Buckley noted, Horford plays a more complementary game than Love, making him a better fit with the Cavaliers’ young core. Also, though Horford’s contract is longer, it gets cheaper as years go by.