December 17, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans power forward Ryan Anderson (33) shoots the ball against Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson (11, left) during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Pelicans 104-93. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Cavs: Searching for Kevin Love-lite

Rumors to continue to swirl that the Cleveland Cavaliers will trade for Kevin Love. The idea is that with Kyrie Irving and LeBron James on the team that Love would be a perfect compliment. His shooting and rebounding, not to mention his ability to throw very long outlet passes, would provide spacing and fit along with the other two stars. Yet the Cavs reportedly won’t include Andrew Wiggins in their offer to Love. First let me get my thoughts out of the way:

  • The Cavs would have to move more then just Wiggins, due to financial/cap issues, which would greatly impact the depth/talent on the team.
  • The Cavs have an offensive force in Irving to take pressure off of James. Wiggins would be the defensive player to take the responsibilities off of James on that end.
  • The financial balance of the team would be thrown out of wake with 3 max level players and a bunch of low salaried players.
  • The defense would be average to below average.
  • There aren’t enough shots for all 3 of that version of the Big 3 to be themselves.
  • I’m not sure Love would be okay only getting Chris Bosh type role.
  • If James wanted Love, the T’Wolves wanted Wiggins and the Cavs offered Wiggins the deal would already been made.

Now on to two possible lesser level players that could be available, two Kevin Love-lite type players.

Ryan Anderson

Anderson is coming off neck surgery and may have lost his place with the New Orleans Pelicans when they traded for Omer Asik. The Pelicans could look to add some youth and depth, along with saving some cap space, by moving Anderson. The health of his neck will play a huge role. Anderson has scored over 16 points per game over the last 3 seasons. He has hit over 37% from 3 point land since his second season in the league. He has also averaged over 5.5 rebounds per game over the past 4 seasons as well. With the Pelicans the presence of Anthony Davis and Asik, Anderson isn’t a huge need. A trade with the Cavs could bring in some youth while cutting about $2 million off their salary cap. Here is how a Anthony Bennett centered trade could look:

Anderson Trade

Ryan Kelly

Kelly is a restricted free agent after only 1 season in the league. The Lakers are likely to bring him back for another season. The Cavs would have to get creative to get him away from the Lakers. Kelly only shot 34% from 3 point range last season but showed increased range throughout the season. In his limited time he also averaged about 4 rebounds. With the creative way the Lakers have put their roster together it is possible that the Cavs can help them tank a little bit more. The Lakers have been linked to Dion Waiters a number of times but they would not be able to get him for Kelly. The Cavs could offer the proper salary to make a sign and trade possible. Carrick Felix and Matthew Dellavedova could be used to get to Kelly’s salary while a 2nd round pick could make it worth it to the Lakers. A very protected first rounder could also be used if the Cavs see Kelly as a long term fit.

Neither player will make the same impact as Love but could be very important to the Cavs development of a stretch 4. Adding either player would also allow the Cavs to keep Wiggins and more. Neither Anderson or Kelly would make teams quake in their boots but being around the rest of the Cavs roster could immediately catapult them into stardom, look what James did for Mo Williams.

What do you think of either players as Kevin Love-lite options?

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers Kevin Love

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