Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love has had a pretty rough time since he arrived in Cleveland in 2015.
Since his arrival in Ohio, the former Timberwolf has posted averages of 17 points and 10.2 rebounds a game, being named an All-Star once in that span. Compare that to his final year in Minnesota, with averages of 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds, it clear as day to see Love isn’t the same player the Cavs traded number one pick Andrew Wiggins for in 2015.
On top of the decline in his major statistical numbers, when it comes to the two Finals series the Cavaliers have played against the Warriors since LeBron James’ return, he has been even worse. Love averaged only 16 points a game on a measly 39% shooting clip these past Finals, but thankfully upping his numbers across the board over the 5 games this year compared to his 2016 numbers of 8.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per contest.
So maybe it’s time for GM LeBron to make a decision and trade K.Love for some valuable assets that can help the Cavs compete with the superteam that is Golden State, before Love becomes completely unreliable.
Here are the top 4 trade destinations for Kevin Love.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers may not make the most sense for Kevin Love’s career, but this trade would help both the Cavaliers and the Clippers out regarding upcoming free agents.
The trade would consist of Kevin Love heading to LA in exchange for LeBron‘s longtime friend Chris Paul, along with power forward Brandon Bass, just to help the Cavs bolster the number of bigs on their roster, as Channing Frye and Tristan Thompson won’t be able to do all the work.
Chris Paul would be slotted straight into the starting lineup, Kyrie moved down to the shooting guard position, somewhere he should thrive, considering the fact he is a scoring guard and not a facilitator. LeBron would stay at the three, while Frye would replace Love in the starting 5 at the four, occasionally rotating with Brandon Bass.
For the Clips, Love would not have a clear-cut role on the team, with both the PF and C positions locked up by All-Star talents in Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. But considering that both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin have been rumored to be leaving LA for various other teams around the league for some time now, the Clippers could cut their losses and trade away Paul and at least gain something in return, rather than losing him to the Spurs for absolutely nothing.
New York Knicks
This trade destination revolves around LeBron wanting to pick up another one of his Banana Boat buddies, Carmelo Anthony.
It would be as simple as a one-for-one player swap – Kevin Love for Carmelo Anthony, as both of their salaries match up pretty well.
It’s been well-publicized how current President of Basketball Operations for the Knicks Phil Jackson feels about Melo, mentioning many times over the past year how the Syracuse product would be better suited on another team to chase his championship aspirations. What better team than the Cavs to grab that elusive ring?
LeBron could slot down to the four position to replace Love in the starting lineup, something he has had experience in before while playing for Miami, while Anthony would fit right into the SF gap left by LeBron, forming a formidable scoring frontcourt with Kyrie leading the charge in the backcourt.
For the Knicks, they would replace a disgruntled and aging Melo with a 28-year-old Love, who has proven he can be the focal point on offense, despite how unsuccessful his Minnesota stint was playoffs-wise. Love would replace Kristaps Porzingis at the four, while Kristaps moves down to the center position, something he should easily be able to handle with his 7’3 frame.
What LeBron wants, LeBron gets, and if James truly does want at least one member of the Banan Boat crew to join him in Cleveland to combat the Golden State Warriors, he has to look no further than Chicago.
Chicago native Dwyane Wade hasn’t been as stellar as many had hoped for when he joined forces with Jimmy Butler in the Windy City, posting his lowest scoring average of his career since his rookie season, and helping the Bulls barely scrape into the playoffs as the eighth seed just to be bounced out in the first round against Boston.
If Dwyane Wade accepts to play again with LeBron James, maybe he can take with himself one All-Star player as well?
Jimmy Butler is unhappy in Chicago, and he will be very excited to play with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Dwyane Wade in Cleveland.
It would be a simple trade: Kevin Love and Iman Shumpert for Jimmy Butler.
Kevin Love is head and shoulders above Nikola Mirotic as a stretch four, almost doubling him in scoring and rebounding averages this past season, so Love would have no trouble replacing him in the starting lineup for the Bulls, whereas Wade would also find it simple to replace J.R. Smith in the starting lineup for the Cavs, forming an arguably better starting lineup in Kyrie, Wade, Butler and LeBron than the Miami Big 4 of Wade, Allen, LeBron and Bosh.
And the number one destination for Kevin Love to possibly be traded to this offseason is the Indiana Pacers, something that may not particularly strengthen the Indiana squad, but would do wonders for the Cavs on their quest to defeat the Warriors in the Finals.
In this scenario, the Cavs would send away Love, recent sharpshooting pickup Kyle Korver and Channing Frye, in exchange for superstar Paul George and power forward Thaddeus Young.
For Cleveland, they are in desperate need of a two-way forward who can take the scoring load off of LeBron, but also go mano-a-mano with the likes of Kevin Durant on the defensive end, something that the Cavaliers lacked this past Finals, as James was gassed from playing 40+ minutes a night, and couldn’t dream of containing KD’s extensive offensive arsenal. PG13 would be the perfect fit for the Cavs, and Thad Young would be a great replacement for Love at the PF position.
For Indiana, they would replace their franchise player in George with All-Star Kevin Love, but they would definitely have some issues regarding minutes for their big men, as they also have bigs such as Jefferson, Allen, Turner and Seraphin on their roster. The Pacers would also acquire shooting guard Kyle Korver, a great addition to have for any team in today’s pace and space league.