Jan 8, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) reacts after receiving a technical foul next to guard Ricky Rubio (9) during the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
The Cleveland Cavaliers recently acquired Luol Deng from the Chicago Bulls. Immediately following that acquisition ESPN posted an article in their rumors section (insider, cost $) that the Cavaliers were looking to make others moves as well. The article throws up Aaron Afflalo as a possible trade target, making @cavsbeat on Twitter very happy.
Then just this week Kevin Love called out his teammates after a close loss. Rumors have been swirling that Love is biding his time until he can opt out of his contract and sign with the LA Lakers in 2015. It is possible that the Timberwolves could turn it around and convince him to stay, it is also possible that the Wolves look to move Love instead of losing him for nothing.
These two things lead us to today’s post. But before we go any further a note of clarification:
This is not based on a rumor or a source. It is a Cavalier question in every sense of the word.
So the Cavalier question, both for the team and as a very carefree question as the likelihood is small, would you trade a huge package of assets for Love or a much smaller one for Afflalo?
A Kevin Love Trade
For the Timberwolves to move Love it would take a large package of assets to get the job done. For the Cavaliers a trade for Love would first have to qualify financially as well as the requisite talent needed. This package would most certainly start with Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson. Add in Tyler Zeller and the salaries are about 4 to 5 million apart meaning more pieces need to be added. That would leave the Cavs and Wolves with a few options. Either of the teams could demand the inclusion of Anthony Bennett, or they could add in Jarrett Jack’s contract to balance out the bill. Yet to avoid totally clearing the Cavs roster with the trade adding Alonzo Gee to the deal would get the deal approved based on salary. ESPN Trade Machine approves.
The Cavs still would have to satisfy the Wolves in regards to assets. With Waiters, Thompson and Zeller the Cavs are dealing some young players with different levels of upside. The Wolves would require the Cavs 2014 1st round pick for sure. How many more picks would they request? Would adding the Memphis Grizzlies and Miami Heat picks to the 2014 pick be enough or would the Cavs have to add more of their own picks?
For the sake of today’s article we will assume the following trade for Kevin Love: Waiters, Thompson, Zeller, and Gee plus 3 first round picks (Cavs 2014, Grizzlies and Heat) for Kevin Love. A size-able load for a player who could bolt in 2015.
As mentioned in the ESPN piece, Afflalo is available but for a price. The Magic are known to be looking for another pick in the 2014 draft, but is that enough? The Cavs and the Magic would still need to matchup salaries to make the trade go through, so lets start there. The Cavs have quite a few options for this trade in terms of salary, we will get to assets later. The Cavs could trade Jarrett Jack straight up for Afflalo, they could trade Dion Waiters and Alonzo Gee, Gee and Earl Clark, or Bennett and Sims. Much of this depends on what talent the Magic are interested in and how much other value is required for the trade.
It may be safe to say that the Cavaliers would be very hesitant to give up both Waiters and a 2014 1st round pick. The Magic might be most interested in the pick over Waiters. Bennett has been so bad this year that his trade value is as low as it can be. The Cavs most likely would have to add another first round pick to the pot to get that deal to go through, and in doing so defeat the purpose of this post. That leaves trading Jack and a 2014 1st round pick or Gee, Clark, the ’14 1st rounder and an additional 2nd rounder for Afflalo.
Each of these trades have positives for both teams. Adding Jack to run the point and sliding Victor Oladipo to the 2 guard spot makes a lot of on the court sense, but Jack’s contract is big enough to be a concern. Adding Gee and Clark does little to help the team on the court but either might be easier to move or cut later, and adding another pick, even in the second round, is a positive thing. For the purpose of this post we will assume the Jack and the Cavs ’14 first rounder for Afflalo.
A Cavalier Question Needs a Cavalier Decision
In our Cavalier world these two options are on the table:
Trade Waiters, Thompson, Zeller and Gee plus 3 first round picks (’14 Cavs, Grizzlies and Heat) for Kevin Love
Trade Jack and ’14 first round pick for Aaron Afflalo
Make a decision and defend your decision below in our comments section. Which trade would you make? Are they reasonable trades for both teams? How happy would you be with either trade?