Evaluating Air Alamo Cavs-Spurs trade centered on Kevin Love

Cleveland Cavaliers big Kevin Love looks to shoot after a ball fake. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers big Kevin Love looks to shoot after a ball fake. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images) /

Here, I’ll look at a Cleveland Cavaliers-San Antonio Spurs Kevin Love deal.

At this point, nobody’s ever surprised to see suggested trades involving Cleveland Cavaliers big Kevin Love. Love is perpetually in trade rumors/a name mentioned in potential deals, and last season, more so in January, it seemed inevitable that he’d be moved by the 2020 trade deadline.

That was in large part due to how Love and the Cavaliers’ team dynamic was rocky at that point, as Love had instances in-game when he was noticeably frustrated. Love did apologize for those, and he was a much more engaged and it appeared, bought-in, teammate from there, even when John Beilein was Cleveland’s head coach still leading into the All-Star break.

Plus, after J.B. Bickerstaff, previously Cleveland’s associate head coach, took over for the squad post-All-Star break at head coach, Love seemed especially locked-in. Love and Bickerstaff have a great relationship, too, and next season, I’d expect that should pay dividends for how Love does on the floor and as a leadership presence, I believe.

Nonetheless, the hypothetical trades involving Love are not going to go away, and I completely understand that.

To me, though, given the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and with how it seems more reasonable that Love could be a trade piece explored more in the period following the 2021 free agency frenzy, I’d expect him more so to be dealt before 2021-22.

In any case, here, we’ll examine a suggested Cavs-San Antonio Spurs deal centered on Love from Air Alamo’s Dylan Carter. That deal’s details are below, involving Love to the Spurs in exchange for Rudy Gay, Patty Mills and a 2020 second-round pick.

Is this a deal the Cleveland Cavaliers should strongly consider/accept?

I can understand where Carter is going with this, and he touched on how based on what the Cavs traded for Andre Drummond, which was not much at all, this could be a reasonable exchange for Love’s services.

The key here, though, is that Love is a far more valuable player, albeit he’s not an All-Star anymore, than Drummond.

Love is one of the league’s best shooting bigs, and even while he’s had a long injury history, as us Cavs fans are well-aware of, and he’s set to make $91.5 million over the next three seasons, I don’t see the Cavs strongly considering this. I wouldn’t it, either.

I also understand from Carter’s perspective, that the Spurs would be taking on that Love contract, which holds weight in any hypothetical deal centered on him. But Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is not one to be unwilling to spend.

Furthermore, Cleveland no longer having Love around to aid in the progression of young pieces such as Darius Garland, Collin Sexton and Kevin Porter Jr. from a floor spacing, passing and leadership perspective for simply Patty Mills, Rudy Gay and a 2020 second-round pick is a no from my viewpoint.

I also acknowledge that both Mills and Gay are set to be expiring players after next season, and that’s seemingly the main draw here, and again, I get where Carter’s coming from with this scenario.

Mills has always been a high-level shooter and hit 38.2 percent from three-point range on a career-high 6.1 attempts per outing in 2019-20, but I’ll pass on another 6-foot-1 point guard that struggles defensively in terms of the on-floor sense, a la Garland.

In regards to the 6-foot-8 Gay, he is another fine player that is a decent perimeter shooter, but more so a polished scorer in the mid-range and has a well-rounded post game, while being a capable defensive rebounder. And I’d imagine both are model teammates, as they seem to be.

But dealing Love for what would be two feasibly bench type players at this point in their careers, to go with a project pick, even while Cleveland could find some value there, basically for just expiring deals to me, wouldn’t be wise.

Both Mills and/or Gay could maybe be pieces the Cavs could look to flip near the 2021 trade deadline from there, sure, but I’d rather Cleveland just pass in the first place. Again, the expirings would be the key here, but Love seems really locked-in for the Cavaliers and I’m very intrigued to see how he does with Bickerstaff as the head coach firmly.

If the Cavs were to seek out other deals centered on Love, you’d have to think there’s better out there featuring promising young players.

Perhaps if the Spurs were a partner, hypothetically, while I’m not crazy about Gay in a deal, him, Dejounte Murray, whose one of the NBA’s best young defensive guards, and is steadily progressing offensively, plus that 2020 2, might be more worth considering?

Swinging back, though, this deal scenario proposed by Carter above, from Cleveland’s perspective, is not one they should strongly consider, let alone accept.

Next. 2 realistic expectations for the Kevin Love-Andre Drummond pairing. dark

The Cavaliers woods seemingly agree with me on that, too.