As reported a little while ago, the Brooklyn Nets are in pursuit of a third star to pair up with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. The Cleveland Cavaliers could help the Nets in that regard with Kevin Love reportedly available.
Having both won with big threes in the past, Durant in Golden State and Irving in Cleveland both will be desperate to recruit a star to add another championship to their collection in Brooklyn.
However, the Nets could find realistic targets in Bradley Beal and Love, a longtime Irving teammate in Cleveland. The Cavaliers could capitalize on Brooklyn’s need by giving them the five-time All-Star and add some assets to help their rebuild.
Trading Love could be a win-win.
Neither of these players was on prospective playoff teams in 2020 and could find themselves moved in the offseason, should their ball clubs get the right offer.
Love would be the obvious candidate with Beal off-limits, per the Wizards. The former UCLA Bruin is a strong three-point shooter, a very good rebounder of the ball, has a strong game inside the arc and would provide the Nets with a starting caliber power forward, giving the Nets a very strong starting five of Irving, Joe Harris, Durant, Love and DeAndre Jordan.
Most importantly, however, is that Love, 31, would fit the timelines of Durant and Irving in terms of contract and age, while the incentive is that the Cavalier played alongside Irving before and won a championship with the Australian-born guard.
Fit certainly wouldn’t be a problem and in theory, a deal like this could well happen, especially if rumors are true about Ty Lue being the frontrunner to become the Nets new head coach.
In addition, the Cavaliers are in the midst of a rebuild so trading Love feels like an inevitability at this point. Plus the Cavaliers star would likely relish the opportunity to win another championship and would be willing to be the third wheel in Brooklyn.
That leaves the question of what would a trade look like?
Despite Love’s age, the Cavaliers would likely expect a deal revolving around Caris LeVert and a protected first-round draft pick at minimum. This would help the Cavs, amidst their rebuild, pairing Collin Sexton and Darius Garland with LeVert. It would give JB Bickerstaff a good young core to build around. The incentive is for Brooklyn that they would be able to retain Spencer Dinwiddie, who enjoyed somewhat of a breakout campaign this year.
However, Love’s injury history and contract have reportedly given teams some concern and NBA execs don’t expect teams interested in Love to give up a lot to acquire him since they don’t see the 31-year-old as a game-changer who can put a team over the top at this stage of his career.
But the silver lining could be with free agency looking bare aside from Anthony Davis (who will in all likelihood re-sign with the Lakers) and the draft on paper looking especially weak. Teams will need to add talent and that could be how the Cavs deal Love.
Despite his age, contract and injury history, Love played 56 games in 2019-20 prior to the shutdown and averaged nearly 18 points per game, nearly 10 boards per game and over three assists. He is certainly a good enough player to improve Brooklyn’s roster and they could prove to be the Cavs suitable trade partner.