The ‘IF Kevin Love is Traded, For Who?’ Piece

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Jan 6, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Phoenix Suns guard

Eric Bledsoe

(2) reacts after scoring a basket in the fourth quarter during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center. The Suns beat the Bucks 102-96. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

This trade was actually the lead trade in ESPN’s Kevin Love Trade Scenarios. Here are their thoughts on this trade:

"Why the Cavs would do it: James is as close to Bledsoe as any young player in the league, and they share an agent in Rich Paul. Plus, Bledsoe just happens to excel where the Cavs are weakest: defense. Bledsoe can guard 2s as well as point guards that Irving can’t. Bledsoe is slowly shooting better from deep, and if the Cavs want to get younger and more athletic, this is the deal for them. At 7-foot-1, Len gives them a young giant who can take up space in the middle and provide depth for Mozgov and Thompson in case the latter doesn’t agree to a deal this summer. Why the Suns would do it: The Suns wanted Love this summer and now they have a logjam at point guard. This deal solves both issues. The tri-point guard lineup has actually been successful this season, but keeping all three players — Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas and Bledsoe — happy all season long might be too tall of a task. Dragic running pick-and-rolls in space with Love like he did with Channing Frye last season? That’s a scary proposition. Plus, Len becomes a bit of a luxury now that Brandan Wright is in the fold."

Bledsoe does provide the Cavs with an interesting player but does little to replace Love on the Cavs roster. Trading Love would put Tristan Thompson back into the Cavs starting lineup next to Timofey Mozgov and Bledsoe starting at the two guard spot. That would give the Cavs a bench of J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, Shawn Marion, Mike Miller, Matthew Dellavedova, Joe Harris and Len as the primary support.

Bledsoe would answer the Cavs long term solution at the 2 guard spot as well as providing the Cavs with a stud point when Kyrie Irving is on the bench. He is a stellar defender with an improving shot. He makes less than Love would over the next few years but that would hardly help the Cavs cap space. Len is a big center but has hardly been impactful in his two seasons in the league. He is averaging 6.3 points and 6 rebounds this season, three times as much as his rookie year. He would be an interesting piece.

Without Love the Cavs would be left with little shooting from their power positions. None of Thompson, Mozgov, Len or Anderson Varejao can hit shots outside of about 12 feet, mostly from Varejao. The Cavs would have to get creative especially using LeBron James as a stretch 4. While a different position, this trade would be the undoing of the original Andrew Wiggins/Anthony Bennett trade with Bledsoe taking over as the athletic wing defender that Wiggins is.

Thoughts: While not a trade we would make this trade intrigues us very much. Bledsoe will help in a variety of ways even though the shooting that would be lacking on the Cavs interior would be highly concerning. We will not endorse any trade but this trade would be one we could accept.

Next: Trade Partners: Charlotte Hornets