Does trading for Kevin Love make sense for the Charlotte Hornets?
As they continue to struggle in the 2018-19 NBA season, rumors and speculations continue to circulate that the Cleveland Cavaliers could move All-Star forward Kevin Love before the February NBA trade deadline. According to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, Love, who remains sidelined due to injury, is “upset” by the direction the Cavaliers is taking and reportedly starting to see a “scenario” where the team could trade him for a package, including picks, young players, and tradeable contracts.
The Cavaliers are yet to admit it, but as of now, they are more focused on the development of their young players over winning games. If the Cavaliers finally decide to take a different route, trading Kevin Love for assets that could help them speed up the rebuilding process is a no-brainer. According to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, the Charlotte Hornets “might roll the dice” once Love becomes officially available on the trading block.
In a proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Hornets will be sending Bismack Biyombo, Frank Kaminsky, Malik Monk, and a 2019 first-round pick to the Cavaliers in exchange for Kevin Love and David Nwaba. Since Love just signed a massive contract extension, both teams will be needing to wait until January 23 to make the deal.
As Favale noted, the suggested trade will not only be beneficial for the Hornets but also for the Cavaliers. Aside from acquiring a young player and a future first-round pick, the deal will help the Cavaliers free a huge chunk of their salary cap space in the summer of 2020.
“It should take the Cavaliers roughly 0.1 seconds to green-light this package. Biyombo is demonstratively overpaid, but he comes off the books in 2020 (assuming he picks up his $17 million player option next season), when they’ll also clear Jordan Clarkson and Tristan Thompson from the ledger. Ditto for George Hill ($1 million guarantee in 2019-20) and JR Smith ($3.9 million guarantee in 2019-20) if they aren’t already gone. Malik Monk is a weird fit with Clarkson, Collin Sexton and Rodney Hood on the roster. The Cavaliers shouldn’t care. He’s a gettable prospect.”
Though Kevin Love has already expressed his desire to stay in Cleveland, he will definitely love the idea of spending his prime years playing for a playoff contender than a rebuilding team like the Cavaliers. Love will be giving the Hornets a second superstar they have been looking for years. Pairing Love with the face of the franchise Kemba Walker could give the Hornets a strong chance of making a deep playoff run this season.
As of now, it remains unknown if the Hornets have a real interest in acquiring Kevin Love from the Cavaliers. Expect more rumors to circulate around Love once he returns from injury.
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