Cavs: Chris Paul-Kevin Love would be a dynamic duo

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul reacts in-game. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul reacts in-game. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Cavaliers haven’t been discussed regarding a Chris Paul trade destination, but they reportedly could be one, in theory.

With the NBA season reportedly set to begin for the Cleveland Cavaliers and other teams on Dec. 22, rumors will be ramped up.

This offseason to come/period following the 2020 NBA Draft, set to commence virtually on Nov. 18, is likely to be a busy one, it would appear, with potential trades seeming to be well in-play.

Recently, in the realm of that possibility, on an appearance on the Wine & Gold Talk Podcast with’s Hayden Grove and Chris Fedor, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst had this juicy comment.

This was involving how the Cavs could actually trade for Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul, as transcribed by Forbes‘ Evan Dammarell.

"“If the Cavs wanted to, they could trade for Chris Paul,” said Windhost. “They could trade Andre Drummond and Cedi Osman and I think that they could get Chris Paul for that.”"

Windhorst stressed, though, how the Cavaliers haven’t been discussing the possibility of trading for Paul, but that he believes they could, in theory, and was clear on that, deal for Paul.

Paul is set to be on the books for roughly $41.4 million next season, and if he were to opt into his 2021-22 player option, would be due to make roughly $44.2 million then. So, that’s seemingly why the Thunder could look to move him, as they do, even after last season, seem due to reset.

Granted, in terms of the Cavs, we know they’re rebuilding, but that proposed hypothetical deal didn’t seem to be a huge pill to swallow, quite frankly, as Drummond doesn’t seem to be a long-term piece, and Osman has been up and down. Paul’s 35, sure, but the Cavs aren’t going to be swinging for the fences in 2021 free agency.

Anyhow, all things considered, based on Windy seemingly hitting on how the Cavs could, again, though he hasn’t heard anything about it, deal for Paul and not have to trade Collin Sexton, Darius Garland or Kevin Porter Jr. in the process, I’d be for this for Cleveland. And you can view that reasoning after weighing the pros/cons here, and if this were to happen, perhaps the Thunder could look to move the expiring Steven Adams shortly thereafter to a different team.

In the Cavs’ sense, Paul, who had 17.6 points, 6.7 assists and 5.0 rebounds in 2019-20 for OKC, was a key reason why they shockingly were the #5 seed in the Western Conference postseason. He could be a great resource for Cleveland’s young guards, too, and could open up so many high quality looks for a plethora of players, such as Sexton, KPJ, Dylan Windler and others.

One duo that’d be so promising for the Wine and Gold involving Paul would be with Kevin Love, though, and that one could open up other opportunities for others.

Paul and Love would be a dynamic duo for the Cavs.

K-Love and CP3? What possibilities that could come with that, huh. After initiating ball-swings and/or getting feeds to Love on the perimeter via spot-ups/off movement, Paul, one of the best passers in the league, could allow Love to feast off-the-catch.

Love hit 37.0 percent of a career-high 7.0 three-point attempts per game last season, Paul’s playmaking capabilities could enable Love to shoot fish in a barrel, if you will, often. That’s with the threat of perhaps Tristan Thompson, if he came back, as a roller, or perhaps USC’s Onyeka Okongwu/Dayton’s Obi Toppin, mixed in with the all-around threat of Sexton, and pieces such as KPJ and Windler, throughout games.

Paul could help get Love quality looks a bunch via pick-and-pops, too, and the pressure that’d put on opposing defenses would be very difficult to account for. The off-ball cutting possibilites could be really opened up from there if that duo would have success, in turn.

Additionally, Paul would get Love the ball on-point with skip feeds coming off movement, for scoring/playmaking work in the mid-post, too, and Love could feasibly get the ball back to Paul for spot-ups and/or leading into in-rhythm pull-ups/floaters from there.

In off-ball work, Love, a highly capable passing big, could open up his share of off-screen looks for Paul as well. That’d be feasibly with screens set by Thompson, Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Bell and/or Okongwu or Toppin, for example.

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In those instances, should defenses start to overhelp to that, Paul could end up following that Love feed by dishing back to him on the weak side after relocation, or make a pocket pass to Thompson/Nance/Okongwu, too, for dunks/layups.

Lastly, in the secondary transition game, I’d expect to see Love get his share of deep ball feeds as a trailer from Paul, too, and hitting trailing stretch bigs is something Paul does well when those opportunities present themselves, such as was with Danilo Gallinari in OKC.

Moreover, when you factor in all of the pressure a Love-Paul duo would put on opposing defenses, others around them from there, such as again, Sexton, Porter, Windler and Nance would have a number of open looks/more room to get to their spots.

Nonetheless, Windhorst again reported that he has not heard anything about the Cavaliers pursuing a trade for Chris Paul at all, but with him seeming to suggest they could, in theory, acquire him, a duo with him and Love seemed especially promising.

Now, Windy did essentially note how he’s heard Love “was back on the trade market,” on that pod, too, when talking to an NBA executive. But Windy then also stated to Grove and Fedor how that same executive, in response, plainly said after a laugh, ‘Please tell me when he was off the trade market.'”

Basically, to me, that just highlighted how while Love will seemingly continue to be brought up in trade rumors, it doesn’t appear likely he’ll be moved for a while by Cleveland, at least not until after next season, really.

And going back to Windy seeming to say how Cleveland could potentially trade for Paul if they showed interest, why not examine the Love-Paul duo possibilities/how that could open up quality looks for other Cavs?

Anyway, while Paul would take minutes away from Garland clearly (who’d move to a bench role) and Sexton to some degree, they could learn so much from him, and the Cavs could realistically look to trade Paul down the road at some point. That could lead to future assets for them, too, I’d imagine, and Garland could be ready to roll to reassume the starting 1 role from there.

To reiterate, though, the Cleveland Cavaliers have not been rumored/reported to have shown interest in a potential trade for CP3, as Windy stressed, and probably more in-play suitors include the Milwaukee Bucks, LA Clippers and New York Knicks, for instance. Albeit ESPN’s Zach Lowe did mention in a report that there’s been “no traction” regarding the Bucks and Thunder discussing a possible Paul-centric trade, so we’d have to see there.

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But should the Cavs eventually look to trade for CP3 based on the Windhorst comments, I couldn’t blame them. And wow, would that Paul duo with Love be something.