NBA Rumors: Spurs Could Trade LaMarcus Aldridge And Keldon Johnson For Kevin Love, Per ‘Bleacher Report’

LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs and Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers walk down the court during the second half at Quicken Loans Arena on January 21, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Jason Miller / Getty Images

Despite missing the playoffs last season, the San Antonio Spurs still haven’t shown strong indication that they are already planning to undergo a full-scale rebuild this offseason. With Coach Gregg Popovich at the helm, there remains a huge possibility that instead of focusing on the development of their young players, the Spurs will try to build a more competitive roster in an effort to return to the postseason. One of the potential trade targets for the Spurs this fall is All-Star power forward Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

According to Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report, the Spurs could acquire Love by sending a package that includes LaMarcus Aldridge and Keldon Johnson to the Cavaliers. Though he and Aldridge offer almost the same skillset, Hughes believes that Love would be a much better fit with Spurs star DeMar DeRozan.

“Love has been doing cannon balls off the high dive for his entire career, which is why he makes so much more sense alongside DeRozan, who never shoots threes, and San Antonio’s collection of up-and-coming guards, who stand to benefit from only having to play with one historically suspect floor-spacer. Add to that Love’s superior passing, and there’s no argument (with respect to offense, at least) that he complements what DeRozan and the Spurs do better than Aldridge.”

LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the Portland Trail Blazers battles for position with Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second quarter of the game at Moda Center on November 4, 2014 in Portland, Oregon
  Steve Dykes / Getty Images

Trading for Aldridge for Love would make a lot of sense for the Spurs, especially if they want to spend Popovich’s remaining years in the league trying to contend for the NBA championship title. Love is three years younger than Aldridge and still has plenty of productive seasons left in his career. Though he remains a defensive liability, pairing him with DeRozan would further improve San Antonio’s offensive efficiency that currently ranks No. 5 in the league as it scores 110.4 points per 100 possessions, per ESPN.

Being traded to the Spurs would also benefit Love. Instead of spending another season mentoring young players on a rebuilding team, joining forces with DeRozan in San Antonio would give him the opportunity to compete in the playoffs once again. Having Popovich as his head coach could also help Love bring back the player that was once considered the face of the Minnesota Timberwolves’ franchise.

Meanwhile, the proposed deal would also benefit the Cavaliers as it would enable them to get Love’s massive salary off their books while acquiring a young and promising wingman in Johnson. Instead of losing him in the 2021 free agency without getting anything in return, the Cavaliers could flip Aldridge’s expiring contract for future draft assets before next year’s trade deadline.