Trading Kevin Love Is Absolutely Not The Cavs’ Answer to The Warriors Dilemma
By: Alex Marcheschi
Oh boy, the NBA internet community is in the midst of a Civil War today. Half of the people are praising the Warriors historic accomplishment, and the other half are trying to figure out how to “fix” the Cavs. Trading Kevin Love is at the heart of most of the solutions being tossed around to improve the Cavs, and that simply makes no sense. We’re talking about a guy who just averaged 18.9 points and 11.9 rebounds per 36 minutes in the playoffs this year. This is a guy who is one of the best shooting big men alive, a guy who can hit LeBron on full court passes when the King is sprinting down the court like a locomotive, a guy who has arguably the best boxing out skills in the entire NBA.
Look me in the eyes and explain to me how the Cavs can get better by trading him. You can’t. Tweets like this are flying around cyberspace, and frankly, I find them to be outright offensive.
There it is, that guy just figured out all the Cavs’ problems. First of all, there’s no chance the Pelicans would make that trade, and second of all, the Cavs can’t just sign Paul George. He’ll be a free agent at the end of next year, you’re gonna have to back out the Brink’s truck to land him and the Cavs already have most of their money tied up in Kyrie, Bron, K Love and Tristan. I understand that the Cavs could feasibly trade Love and a few other things for PG, but there’s no guaranteeing George would re-sign after his deal ends next year because he’ll be due so much money. Love is signed through 2020, the risk in a trade like that is much bigger than the reward. So kill the PG noise, it’s not going to happen.
Also, George considers LeBron to be his biggest rival in the NBA, so I doubt he’d like to team up even if it were possible. There’s no logical trade involving Kevin Love that could make Cleveland better, losing him would mean losing about 50% of the rebounding force on the team, and the Cavs would be much worse off if that were the case.
The Cavs’ problems in these playoffs centered around a lack of a true sixth man and reliable bench. Yes, Richard Jefferson is still good, but he should preferably be a team’s third option off the bench, not the first. Korver sadly didn’t hit when they needed him to, Deron Williams crumbled in The Finals and Frye was way too slow to play against the Warriors. Shump had his moments, but his jumper has less touch than your drunk aunt playing cornhole at a grad party. I hate to say it, but the Cavs missed Delly and Mosgov. Those guys were reliable and they left it all out there.
The Cavs’ problems could all be solved by adding two reliable veterans who still have juice and are willing to take a pay cut. The Finals should have been tied 2-2 heading into last night, but the Cavs were too thin. Whenever LeBron sat in game three, the Warriors absolutely throttled Cleveland. The Cavs likely won’t re-sign James Jones, Derrick Williams or Deron Williams. Who knows what they’ll do with Korver, I could see it going either way. If Korver holds out for big money, the Cavs will likely let him walk and look elsewhere, they have enough shooting as is. If Korver goes, Cleveland will have some cash to throw at some skilled veterans who are willing to take a salary decrease like David West did with the Warriors this year. So, who could they land? Let’s take a look.
Jeff Green is out there, and if he’s willing to take a pay cut, that could be a big pickup. Some people think he’s lost a step, but something tells me his career could be rejuvenated with a role on a contender. He could be a reliable player off the bench, he’s coming off a season with Magic where he averaged 9.2 points a game playing meaningless basketball. He would basically be a better Richard Jefferson and someone that could make some plays when LeBron sits.
The Heat could waive Josh McRobert’s player option and cut him, but they’d still have to pay him $2 mill. That’s a perfect scenario for the Cavs to come in and swoop the 6’10” big man who can rebound, stretch the floor and knock down threes. He’s been plagued by injuries lately, but the Cavs are going to have to take some risks to get the necessary pieces to contend with GSW. It’s all about having those decent options when LeBron gets too tired, that’s when they got killed in The Finals.
Also, Mo Speights and Z Bo are free agents as well. While they may seem too slow to help the Cavs beat the Warriors, Cleveland could still use some big bodies who can crash the boards and hit mid range jumpers. The Warriors were trotting David West and Zaza out there for Pete’s sake, if they land either of those two guys, K Love or Tristan could get a much needed breather and the Cavs would still have some skill out there. Speights would love a chance to battle against his former team, and Randolph has to be starving for a ring.
And last, but not least, don’t sleep on D Wade taking a gigantic pay cut to come help his boy take down the Warriors. Hell, I could even seen LeBron paying him under the table. D Wade could rest for most of the season and pipe up during the playoffs, which is pretty much what he did this past year for Chicago. He was at game four looking like a Bodega boy, and he’s made a bunch of appearances in The Land lately. Don’t rule it out.
Yes, the Warriors are scary, and all may very well be lost. But, Kyrie was weirdly quiet in the first two games and the Cavs were definitely scared to start The Finals in Oakland. It was strange, they played very well at home, and they would’ve been able to hold on to game three if they had a few more bench pieces. Let’s hope they make some nice moves, Cavs’ GM David Griffin is a free agent, but I have a feeling Bron will talk to him about staying. If they land a few veteran players who can play at a discount like the ones I mentioned, it could drastically help.