NBA Rumors: Timberwolves Could Bring Kevin Love Back For Three Players In Proposed Trade With Cavaliers

Kevin Love reacts to the ref's call
Gettyimages | Patrick Smith
Basketball

Since the departure of LeBron James in the summer of 2018, rumors have been continuously swirling around All-Star power forward Kevin Love and his future with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers gave Love a massive contract extension with the hope that he could lead the team back to title contention.

Unfortunately, Love failed to live up to expectations as the face of the franchise. With the team likely heading into another huge disappointment, most people believe that the Cavaliers are better off trading him for assets that could help them speed up the rebuilding process.

Kevin Love Returns To Minnesota

Kevin Love pointing to the Cavaliers' bench
Gettyimages | Gregory Shamus

Once he becomes officially available on the trading block, several teams that are in dire need of a frontcourt boost and an additional star power are expected to express a strong interest in adding Love to their roster. According to Michael Balko of NBA Analysis Network, one of the most intriguing landing spots for Love in the 2021 offseason is the Minnesota Timberwolves, the team that drafted him fifth overall pick in 2008.

Like the Cavaliers, the Timberwolves are also struggling in the 2020-21 NBA season but instead of undergoing another full-scale rebuild, they could be planning to add quality veterans who would complement Karl-Anthony Towns, D'Angelo Russell, and Anthony Edwards.

Proposed Timberwolves' Trade Package To Acquire Kevin Love

The Timberwolves wouldn't have to pay the king's ransom to convince the Cavaliers to send Love back to Minnesota. As a matter of fact, the Timberwolves may end up receiving some valuable assets from the Cavaliers for absorbing Love and the $60 million that he's owed in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 NBA seasons. In the proposed trade scenario by Balko, the Timberwolves would be sending a package that includes Ricky Rubio, Juancho Hernangomez, and Jake Layman to the Cavaliers in exchange for Love, a 2023 first-round pick, and a 2022 second-round pick.

Kevin Love A Low-Risk, High-Reward Trade Target

Despite his health issues and lucrative contract, Love would be an intriguing target for the Timberwolves. He may have gone through plenty of ups and downs in the past years, but returning to the team where he blossomed into an All-Star caliber player could help him bring back the best version of himself. When he was still with the Timberwolves, Love was considered as one of the best power forwards in the league.

In his final season in Minnesota, he averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 4.4 assists while shooting 45.7 percent from the field and 37.6 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.

Kevin Love An Ideal Third Star For Timberwolves

When he's 100 percent healthy, Love would be the ideal third star for the Timberwolves. In the years he spent with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in Cleveland, he had learned how to excel in an off-ball capacity, making him a great fit alongside ball-dominant players like Towns and Russell in Minnesota.

Also, having another floor-spacing big man like Love would open more driving lanes for Towns and Russell. Love would make it easier for Towns and Russell to penetrate the basket or kick the ball out when they are trapped by the opposing team's defense.