Kevin Love has been the center of many trade rumors throughout the last two NBA offseasons. As another gets ready to begin, the Cleveland Cavaliers could end up looking to trade Love. According to a report from Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the Cavaliers will trade Love if LeBron James chooses to leave Cleveland in free agency.
If the Cavaliers do end up shopping Love, there will be quite a few teams interested in acquiring him. One of those teams should be the Indiana Pacers, who might very well be in the market for a stretch power forward this offseason.
Indiana has plenty of cap room to take on a bad contract, which is exactly what Love is for the Cavaliers. He has two years left on his deal, which makes acquiring him an even better move for the Pacers. If he didn’t fit well in 2018-19, the Pacers could deal him as an expiring contract and focus on bringing in another star with the enormous amount of cap space that they are projected to have next offseason.
Kevin Pritchard has already proven that he is not scared to make big trades throughout his career. Even last offseason, the Pacers traded Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. Both players ended up fitting in with the Pacers well and the team hasn’t had a brighter future for quite some time.
Going out and acquiring a proven veteran like Love could be exactly what the Pacers need to take the next step.
During the 2017-18 NBA season with the Cavaliers, Love ended up averaging 17.6 points per game to go along with 9.3 rebound. He shot 45.8 percent from the field overall and knocked down 41.5 percent of his three-point attempts. Those numbers would look nice alongside Oladipo in Indiana.
At 29 years old, Love is heading into the final stage of his prime. Indiana may not be viewed as a legitimate championship contender, but the Pacers are ready to prove their critics wrong once again, just like they did this season.
There is no guarantee that Cleveland will be looking to trade Love this offseason. James could decide to return to another season, but even if he does, the Cavaliers could be enticed to trade Love. He has been mentioned in trade rumors throughout the past few offseasons for the right return.
Obviously, the Pacers would be taking on a big contract from the Cavaliers, while they could also ship a young piece like T.J. Leaf. Cleveland would likely be more than happy to move on from Love’s contract.
Nate McMillan and company are without question capable of contending in the Eastern Conference. Adding a piece like Love would make them one of the top three teams in the East, barring other major shakeups throughout the conference.
Many fans in Indiana will not have any interest in the Pacers acquiring Love. Whether that be because of his inconsistent play at times over the last couple of seasons or simply because he played for Cleveland, those fans would be sorely mistaken if they think that Love can’t help take the Pacers to their ultimate goal.
Expect to see Pritchard and the Pacers be extremely aggressive this offseason. They may not end up making any blockbuster moves, but they are certainly going to explore the possibility.
Love may end up sticking with the Cavaliers for another season, but the Pacers should definitely place a phone call and see what it would take to bring him to the blue and gold.