In his recent article, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report created a list of one offseason trade every NBA team should already be thinking about. For the Portland Trail Blazers, he wrote that it should be the deal that would enable them to acquire All-Star power forward Kevin Love from the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, bringing Love to Portland comes with a price.
As Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer noted, the Cavaliers are seeking “some combination of draft picks and young, ascending players” in any potential deal involving their best player. With Love’s health issues and lucrative contract, most teams will be hesitant to pay Cleveland’s asking price. However, according to Buckley, the star-needy Trail Blazers could be willing to make sacrifices to acquire Love from the Cavaliers this fall.
“The Portland Trail Blazers could be desperate enough with Damian Lillard on the wrong side of 30 to give up actual assets for Love. Building an offer around a first-round pick and one of Anfernee Simons, Nassir Little or Zach Collins could be worth it given Love’s potential impact.”
The Trail Blazers still have a chance to extend their playoff streak in the 2019-20 NBA season. They currently own the No. 9 spot in the Western Conference and are only three wins behind the No. 8 seed Memphis Grizzlies. However, even if they manage to claim a spot to play in the postseason, Portland isn’t expected to emerge as a threat to Western Conference powerhouse teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers.
As of now, the Trail Blazers are obviously in need of additional star power that would complement their explosive backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Love may not be on the same level as LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, and Giannis Antetokounmpo, he is capable of helping the Trail Blazers become a better team next season. When he’s 100 percent healthy, he would give the Trail Blazers a very reliable scoring option and serve as an incredible rebounder and facilitator.
In the 56 games he played this season, the 31-year-old power forward averaged 17.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists while shooting 45.0 percent from the field and 37.4 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. Love isn’t expected to have a hard time making himself fit with the Trail Blazers. Thanks to the years he spent with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, Love has learned how to efficiently play in an off-ball capacity, making him the ideal teammate for Lillard and McCollum. The potential arrival of Love wouldn’t turn the Trail Blazers an instant favorite to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy, but it would make them a tougher team to face in a best-of-seven series.