Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love is expected to be one of the hottest names on the trade market before the 2021 deadline. Love may remain committed to the Cavaliers, but if they struggle once again in the 2020-21 NBA season, they might consider trading him and undergoing a full-scale rebuild. One of the teams that could express interest in acquiring Love from Cleveland is the Miami Heat.
In a recent article, Sam Quinn of CBS Sports included the Love-to-Heat deal on his list of trades that people want to see happen the most this season. The Heat managed to surpass expectations from them last season, but their NBA Finals matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers showed that they need more star power on their roster in order to have a better chance of winning another championship title. After Miami’s top target in free agency, Giannis Antetokounmpo, signed a massive contract extension with the Milwaukee Bucks, Quinn believes that going after Love would make a lot of sense for them.
“Miami stands out as the contender in question. The Heat already devoted over 2,300 minutes to inferior players in the Love archetype last season. Slot him into the minutes currently being spent on Kelly Olynyk and Meyers Leonard and the Heat not only diversify their half-court offense a bit, but add a sorely needed outlet passer to a roster that finished 24th in fast-break points last season. Miami has enough defensively to cover for Love. In two years, he’d become a hefty expiring salary they could flip in its next superstar trade (if one hasn’t come already).”
Love may not be on the same level as Antetokounmpo, but he would still be an incredible addition to Miami. He would give them an All-Star-caliber big man who is capable of knocking down shots from beyond the arc, as well as a great rebounder, low-post scorer, and facilitator. Last season, he 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.
With his ability to excel in an off-ball capacity, Love would likely fit alongside a ball-dominant superstar like Jimmy Butler. Also, he would gladly accept the role as the third fiddle in South Beach as long as it gives him the opportunity to return to the NBA Finals and compete for the Larry O’Brien Trophy once again.
Though he’s an All-Star, the Heat won’t have to pay a king’s ransom to acquire him from the Cavaliers. A package that includes a young player and/or a future first-round pick could be enough to convince the Cavaliers to send Love to South Beach.