LeBron James has left the Cleveland Cavaliers but he’s not likely to be the only star leaving the team this offseason as Kevin Love is now a prime trade target.
The biggest domino has fallen in free agency with LeBron James signing a four-year deal worth $154 million with the Los Angeles Lakers. The move west seemed like it was inevitable for months, especially after the Cavs were swept by the Golden State Warriors in the Finals.
With LeBron on the Lakers, the next big domino is likely to fall and I think that will be Kawhi Leonard getting traded to the Lakers, the only team he’s willing to play for now.
While Leonard has justifiably been the hottest name on the trade front, now that James has left Cleveland, the Cavs could elect to blow up their roster and trade Kevin Love for young assets.
Love was the third wheel in Cleveland behind Kyrie Irving before moving up to playing second fiddle this year. He played well but never seemed to fit in as well as his talent would indicate. He’d command a lot on the trade market with a team on the precipice of being a contender looking at him as the final piece to the puzzle.
Maybe the Lakers make a move for the former UCLA big man if they strike out on Leonard, but it feels like that’s as close to a certainty as there can be in this type of situation.
I think the Portland Trail Blazers make an ideal fit for Love where he can complement the work that Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are doing on the perimeter. Whether they have the type of young assets and draft pick capital the Cavaliers will be looking for remains to be seen, but the Lake Oswego native would be a great fit in the red and black.
While his future home is in question, it seems all but guaranteed that Love will be on the move and Western Conference teams will be in hot pursuit of the player who could be a double-double machine in a new environment and role.