Apr 14, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) shoots the ball against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 130-120. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Love Trade Enough to Land LeBron James to Cavs?


As we noted earlier this morning in our piece on Tyronn Lue, the LeBron James notes are crazy right now. An artist, a personal trainer, random friends, etc all say James is coming back to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Yet are any of them worth getting our hopes up for? Since it is all flying around I will reiterate what my source, I don’t have (m)any, said a week or so ago: His wife wants him to return but he wasn’t so sure. Take that for what it is.

There are a few things that we do now about the James free agent decision: He wants to make the max money and he wants to join a roster that has championship possibilities. Last night this tweet, which was in a line of tweets about James, grabbed attention:

So what is a splash? Easy to say that getting Kyrie Irving extended is a huge move. Getting the #1 pick and bringing in “Shooting Guard” Andrew Wiggins is a splash. Still having Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett, Tyler Zeller and Sergey Karasev, all first round picks, has to be a little intriguing for James as well. Yet how can the Cavs make a splash that could solidify his return to Cleveland? Say it with me “KEVIN LOVE”

So lets take a look at a few different moves that could help the Cavs get Love:

Sign and Trade Spencer Hawes to the LA Clippers.

Hawes and the Clippers have already come to an agreement on a contract but the Clippers would like to do a sign and trade, as it would allow them to make another move. Jamal Crawford, with his partially guaranteed for only$1.5 million dollar contract, Reggie Bullock and/or draft pick C.J. Wilcox would be an appropriate trade for Hawes. The Cavs get a young player or two as well as a contract that can be used to cut salary cap space for themselves or the Timberwolves.

Sign and Trade Luol Deng to the Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks have cap space but may not have enough to sign Deng to the contract he wants. That would require getting rid of some salary to make a sign and trade happen with the Cavaliers. Again the Cavs can use this to their advantage to get young talent and/or draft picks. The Hawks could send Dennis Schroeder and John Jenkins along with a 2nd round pick to the Cavs for the sign and traded Deng. Schroeder, Jenkins and the pick could be useful for the Cavs or can be moved on to the T’Wolves in a trade for Love.

Trade Jarrett Jack to the Milwaukee Bucks

Jack is not a player that fans seem interested in keeping around. Jason Kidd, the new coach of the Bucks, was interested in getting him with the Nets. The Bucks are in a need of a point guard and seem like they want to try to compete quickly. Adding Jack to the backcourt helps the scoring load on a team very limited outside of rookie Jabari Parker. A draft pick and Khris Middleton may be enough to get Jack.

Trade for Kevin Love

The Cavs do not have to make any of the above trades to make a deal for Love but could decide to go in that direction to get more youth that possibly the T’Wolves might want while also keeping a good amount of youth on their roster to build for the long term. The Wolves have the choice of a number of young players out of the group of Bullock, Wilcox, Schroeder, Jenkins, Middleton, Waiters, Thompson, Bennett, Karasev and Zeller. The Cavs would likely move 3 or 4 of those players of the Wolves liking. The Cavs can also offer up the contracts of Crawford and Anderson Varejao to give the the Wolves more cap space. The Cavs also have a number of draft picks that would be added to the trade. Putting all of that together gives us this trade:

Cavs Receive: Kevin Love and Kevin Martin

T’Wolves Receive: Dion Waiters, Dennis Schroeder, Khris Middleton, Tristan Thompson, contracts of Jamal Crawford, Scotty Hopson and Anderson Varejao (all cut to save a ton of money) and 3 first round draft picks (Best of MIA/MEM picks and Cavs pick in ’15 plus Cavs ’17 pick) and 2 seconds.

For the Wolves they build around Ricky Rubio and Dion Waiters backcourt with Thompson helping up front. Schroeder along with Zach LaVine and Glenn Robinson III give the Wolves a group of young players to develop over time. The 3 first round picks, especially the better of the Heat/Grizzlies pick, will give the Wolves a ton of resources to rebuild. If they were not able to make the playoffs with Love, adding Klay Thompson is not going to get them there either. Instead they take a bevvy of youth and picks, along with cap relief, from the Cavs.

For the Cavs, depending on which of the other trades they make, they add Love and Martin’s contracts but still have enough youth that they can move somewhere in a trade to get the cap space they need for James. Once Love is traded for James sees Irving, Wiggins and Love as the best case for a championship. The Cavs would have a good mix of young and veterans. Defense and offense. Athleticism and skill. Yet the Cavs would still be able to keep some youth to build around and take some pressure off of the Core 4. Love won’t sign an extension, makes too much financial sense just to wait until the off-season, but then re-signs with the Cavs meaning the team has the Core 4 signed for at least the next 5 years.

A Look at the Heat & Cavs Rosters Without LeBron James

Obviously a lot of moving parts but how do you feel about these moves?

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers Kevin Love

  • Joe

    No way unless Love signs extension.
    Waiters = NoGo.
    Tristan, Jack, Hopson, + 1st rounder (Cavs) 2015 + Joe Harris + Cavs #2 in 2015 go for Love.
    James goes for the Heat #1 (lottery pick for the next five years, maybe) + Alonzo Powell.
    Waiters is an outstanding complement to James and must stay.
    Varajao is close to Lebron, and the Cavs have just lost Hawes.
    Maybe, sign Oden and let him try to work back, or bring back Henry Sims, but keep Andy.
    TT will be missed, but he would languish sitting behind Love, and he ‘s too good a kid and athlete for that to occur.

    Cavs are under cap, but James takes them to close to the top.
    Love is only set to make $15.7 mill. next year. (Jack + TT, + Hopson = 14.2)

    • Jarod Cook

      The only way they make a move for Love at this point is if they know Lebron is coming back. And by that he himself has talked to some body in the organization, not just threw his agent. A reunion in Cleveland is looking more and more likely IMO, seeing as how Miami has yet to do anything to improve they’re roster over last year.

      An Interesting thing I’ve been thinking about is what if they bring in both Lebron and Bosh. If they bring in Bosh they don’t have to give up half there team or future picks to get Love away form the Twolves. Bosh has been on the record saying he take a pay cut to continue winning, so why not do that in Cleveland, who has a bevy of young talent and a lot of future picks. They’d have to make a trade or two, to help free up some cap space to get this to work.

      Right now Cavs have almost $30 mil in cap space available. They can easily make another $10 mil by getting read of Jack, Gee, and Hopson. That should be enough to sign both Lebron and Bosh to long term deals. Then if need by they could try to move Andy and that would free up another $10 mil. But like you said him and Lebron are friends, and I’d hate to see Andy go. Especially after sticking with the team threw the last few years.

      This would be the line up next year.
      PG Irving/Dellavedove
      SG Waiters/Karsev
      SF Lebron/Wiggins
      PF TT/Bennett
      C Bosh/Zeller

      • Joe

        Bosh is a tough one to understand.
        Ray Allen has given conflicting statements about next year, also.
        Ray has mentioned retirement, and has said he’d like to play with Lebron again.
        To the ten players you have above, I’d love to add Ray and Andy to fill out the roster.

      • GeorgiaRed

        It’s been over a week & people STILL keep saying Gee. Gee WAS traded to Charlotte for Haywood & a 2nd(of who I can’t think of his name) The ggod part of the deal is Haywood had a $10 million NON-guaranteed contract for next year(Cle only pays him $2.2) so that’s a nice “expiring contract” that can be traded away as well

    • Jared Mueller

      He won’t sign an extension with any team due to the CBA. It won’t make any financial sense for him to do so. I understand your point tho.

  • Don Pavelka

    Include Wiggins or end of discussion. The Wolves need to get “face of the franchise” type guy back in any trade. The guys you are trying to include are just the same old guys that have been around for a few years and are the reason why the Cavs are NOT a playoff team in the weak ass Eastern Conference. The Wolves already have a whole roster full of the same guys.

    • Letterman007

      I think that is why the Cavs are giving up three first round picks!! If they can’t get a face of the franchise with six first round picks, then they don’t deserve one! That’s their three first rounders and three received in trade! Plus players, who could be bundled with these picks, so they can trade up if need be in the draft or to use as trade bait to acquire a premium talent! That is more than we got for LeBron!! Let’s face it, Love is not LeBron!!

      • Don Pavelka

        Unless a Wiggins or Klay Thompson type of player is included in a deal you’re still not talking about any type of deal the T-Wolves can’t ultimately get in a sign and trade when K-Love eventually comes begging for one so he can max out with that 5th year at $26 million that he’s not going to want to leave on the table. And you are right. Love is not Lebron. Which is why you had better get Lebron if you want this to work since its real tough to compete for a championship when your best player is a sub-par defensive presence. Ask the Timberwolves.

        • Jared Mueller

          I see your point I would just not put Thompson in that class. If the team can’t make the playoffs with Love they aren’t with Thompson. Getting a Thompson, Wiggins isn’t happening, means you don’t get much more. Getting a bunch of young pieces plus picks gives you better odds.

          • Don Pavelka

            You have to get someone that you can sell to your fans right away as a difference maker. A bunch of pieces and draft picks MAY give you better odds but also in the short term makes you team un-watchable. We’ve been down this road before seven years ago when we moved KG. You never get value when you trade a superstar. I know that Thompson is not an improvement over Love. But, Lee in the interim MAY do some of the things Love does and Thompson does things that the team has not had anyone do in a long time if ever.

          • Jared Mueller

            That makes sense. As a sports fan I am always in favor of either going all in or burning it down. If I were the Wolves I would tear it all down with picks, young pieces and hope to get a Kyrie Irving like we did.

        • GeorgiaRed

          Which is why teams can say to Minn. “Here’s our trade: player A-C, picks A-C. take it or leave it” Now is Minn going to let Love walk out for nothing, or take what U can get?
          Let’s say Cle offered the T-wolves. Waiters, Thompson, Haywood($10 million expiring contract), 3 #1 picks spread over the next 3 years. Minn turns it down. Next year Love decides he wants to play in LAL in a sign & trade. LAL offers 2 #1′s saying “it’s the best we’ll give you cause Love’s ours either way” Which of those offers are better?
          You either get:
          - 2 players, a big expiring contract, 3 #1′s
          -2 #1;s
          -Nothing

      • Ryan

        Three picks way outside the lottery. How many franchise players come from picks past number 20? It’s a crappy deal. The Chicago Bulls deal is much better. Wiggins and Waiters for Kevin Love sounds good. Could put Kevin Martin in a trade for additional assets. They’d need to unload Waiters contract. I think a trade similar to this is going to happen.

        • http://FactoryOfSadness.co Jared Mueller

          The big key is that the Cavs will be moving the Heat and/or Grizzlies picks which could be Lottery picks the way things are going. You are right about the Cavs picks being low for sure.

        • Letterman007

          I think you over value Love a little!! The Cavs only got three first rounders for LeBron and they turn out to be late picks. Keep Love another year and watch him walk for nothing!! I doubt they want to do that, I know I wouldn’t !!

          • Ryan

            I’m saying if Cleveland wants him they’re going to have to beat Chicago’s offer. In my opinion the only way to do that is put Wiggins in there. They need to unload Waiters contract so if the Timberwolves had to give an additional asset in order for it to work I could see that happening. Kevin Love had the 3rd highest PER in the league last year and he’s only 25. Put him on a team with LeBron and Irving and they’re instantly Conference favorites. If I were the Cavs I’d say it’s worth it. Wiggins could be special in a few years but LeBron is in his prime now and Love is young enough that he’ll be top notch for as long as LeBron is the premiere or one of the top players in the league.

          • Letterman007

            If they throw in Wiggins, that means less first round choices! They are not trying to unload Waiters as a lot of fans want to keep him in Cleveland! We don’t need any throw ins, you are the one with the disgruntled player. If James comes back, let’s see where Love wants to go!!?

          • Ryan

            Unloading Waiters is a money move and I’m not saying that would happen. Would you as a Cleveland fan take the trade straight up Wiggins for Love? I think Wiggins has a chance to be something special for sure but it’s LeBron’s prime right now and Love, Irving, LeBron is every bit as good as Miami’s big three. Probably better but Irving and Love are going to have to pick up the intensity on defense. Having a leader like LeBron can really help with that.

          • Letterman007

            I’d give up Wiggins and a first round pick for Love. No more than that! Only if Love signs an extension! Wiggins already plays defense better than most. He could turn into a real star! I really hate giving him up!!

    • Jarod Cook

      Let’s say Lebron does come back. The Cavs don’t have to immediately go and trade for Love, with Lebron and the personal they’ve got they can easily secure a playoffs spot. I’m sure there’s a deal on the table already and they think it’s not good enough. But teams can wait till trade deadline time when the Twolves will be desperate to get read of Love for anything of substantial value. The clincher of the deal is he going to stay there after this season. There’s only a few teams that make since and the Cavs with Lebron would be one of them. And lets face it the Cavs can put a way better deal together then most teams.

      So in the end the Twolves end up taking way less then what everyone is expecting, because they’ve been to greedy and held on to long. I’m expecting the deal to be Waiters+Jack+1 or 2 of Cleveland’s 1st rd picks+maybe Hopson or Gee. And they’ll take it cause it’s that or let him walk for nothing.

      On a side note I love Waiters. He’s got all star potential, but has been held back by Irving’s selfish play. On a team where he’d be a primary option like the Twolves, look for him to break out and fill his potential.

      • Jared Mueller

        I agree about Waiters, would be a huge asset for the T’Wolves. One concern is fitting with Rubio who isn’t a great shooter but I think they could play a great open floor game together.

      • Jeff Woods

        No way they would do that, absurd. Kevin Love is not consistent in his messages, and he changes his mind quickly. One minute he loves it here ,the next he hates it. Waiters has marginal value the rest are roll players. Wiggins would be the only guy they would trade for. The wolves can pay him 127 mill over 5 years if he signs somewhere else 88 mill over 4. Money speaks louder than words.

        • GeorgiaRed

          Karl Malone took less to go to LAL
          Gary Payton took less to go to LAL/MIA
          Lebron took less to go to MIA
          Wade took less to go to MIA
          Bosh took less to go to MIA
          Howard took less to go to HOU
          Duncan took less to stay in SA
          The pursuit of shiny trophies says a whole lot too

  • Rambow13

    Umm… No. IF Cleveland wants Love to get Lebron, its going to have to include Mr. Wiggins. If this writer honestly thinks differently, then i really just wasted my time reading this lol.