A new rumor claims the Mavericks are interested in trading for Cavs power forward, Kevin Love, and not Andre Drummond as originally rumored.
The Cavs have five players (at least) who could be moved at the trade deadline. Andre Drummond is the most likely player, but Cedi Osma, Javale McGee, Taurean Prince, and Kevin Love have all been rumored as well to have suitors. Love is someone who could be a great piece for the Cavs if they decide to push for the playoffs, but if they do elect to move him, the Mavericks are rumored to be interested and have the perfect assets to bring back in return.
Love isn’t going to net a team five draft picks, but trading him has its advantages. Namely, getting out from underneath his massive contract. While it’d be nice to find a team to trade Drummond to, his contract is off the books after this year one way or another. Love’s doesn’t. So if the team is looking to shed salary, then Love to Dallas helps make that happen.
Ideally, a trade for Love would contain some draft compensation, even if they’re just second-rounders. It should be stressed though, trading Love isn’t about getting draft picks back but getting salary cap relief. That’s the number one reason to move Love. You’re not going to get similar talent back, nor are you going to get his value in draft picks, so the only reason to trade him is to get money off the books.
The ideal trade would be Tim Hardaway Jr., James Johnson, a first-round and a second-round pick for Love. That’s not exactly the most doable, so Hardaway, Johnson, and a few seconds could work, but it seems unlikely the Mavs would move Hardaway due to depth concerns. Josh Richardson and Josh Green can’t replace Hardaway’s productivity. So unless they decide to go get another wing player from free agency, then Hardaway’s a pipe dream.
For the Cavs, Hardaway and Johnson bring the same thing; expiring contracts. That’s the hook for going after those two.
Yet, if you’re willing to eat a little money, and get back a few more draft picks, another trade that would work is Love to Dallas for Johnson, Dwight Powell, and a couple of assorted draft picks. Powell carries $30+ million over the next three years, and the Cavs should demand draft compensation for taking on his contract.
Either scenario works if trading Love is what you want to do. Personally, I’d keep him around for the rest of the year, build up his stock, and see if you can’t contend for the playoffs with him on the roster.