Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love is the new subject of trade talks. Reports surfaced that the Dallas Mavericks and the Charlotte Hornets are interested in acquiring the former all-star and NBA champion. The Cavaliers are currently 8-22, which is the worst record in the NBA and look to be in rebuilding mode. Moving Love would free up space for the future, but trading Love will be difficult to pull off. Last summer during free agency, Love signed a four-year, $120 million contract extension. Also, Love is currently out with an injury and is still weeks away from returning. Although Love has only played in four games so far this season, the Mavericks and the Hornets are at least interested in his services as they look to move players as well. Let’s look at both possibilities and see who is the better fit for Love.
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The Mavericks could use Love’s veteran status to remain a playoff contender. The Mavericks are 18-22 and are 3.5 games out of eighth place. In order to land Love, the Mavericks will have to surrender draft picks. Also, they could add guard Dennis Smith Jr. to the deal. Smith Jr. has been rumored to be at odds with the team and could be traded soon. Adding Smith Jr. could sweeten the pot for the Cavaliers. The Mavericks front-court would become dangerous. Pairing Love with DeAndre Jordan will increase rebounding numbers. The Mavericks are already ranked 10th. That could catapult themselves into the top five. Also, Love will add another scoring threat. The Mavericks are currently ranked 19th in the NBA in total offense.
The Hornets are currently 6th in the Eastern Conference. They are looking to add another scoring dimension to help Kemba Walker. Love can thrive as the second option. Also, this trade could be the answer to moving Nicolas Batum. The Hornets are looking to take Batum’s contract off the books. He has not panned out well for the team. The Hornets will have to dangle Jeremy Lamb and/or Miles Bridges in order to get the Cavaliers to bite. When Love returns, he will keep the Hornets in playoff contention. However, the Hornets’ future is more cloudy than the Mavericks. It is far from a guarantee that Walker will return. He will be a free agent after the season. The Hornets have to make moves in order for Walker to resign to a long term deal.
The Mavericks are more likely to land Love. They can swallow Love’s contract and the Cavaliers can acquire a talented player in Smith Jr. Also, the Mavericks is the more attractive of the two. The Hornets’ interest is a bit odd given that Love has a huge contract and they are looking to free up cap space. Both teams at this point are just interested, but it is questionable that they will actually make a deal right now. Love’s injury will hold up any trade. His timetable for a return is still in the air. Once Love is healthy, he will be traded. Look for the Mavericks to emerge as the winner.
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