Kevin Love is still being mentioned in numerous trade rumors over the past several weeks despite previous announcement from Cleveland Cavaliers officials that they will keep the power forward.
Love is continuously being tagged as the odd man out in Cleveland. He has been linked to numerous teams — contenders or rebuilding squads. These include the Philadelphia 76ers who are trying to speed up their rebuilding.
SB Nation insider Tom Ziller named the 76ers as one of the potential landing spots for Love. In his trade scenario, the Cavaliers will send Love to Philadelphia in exchange for Jahlil Okafor and one of their future first-round picks. Ziller quickly added, though, that the Cavaliers need the deal more than the 76ers.
However, analysts Dan Levy of Billy Penn argued that while the deal does not make sense for the 76ers at this point, they could eventually decide to pull the trigger. He pointed out that new 76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo is the type of GM who could agree to a high-risk deal.
“If the Sixers want a quick fix like Colangelo has been on record stating he plans to do, that’s what they’ll have to try,” Levy noted. “A starting five of Love, Embiid, Ben Simmons, Noel and Ish Smith wouldn’t make any sense, but neither does that lineup with Okafor instead of Love.”
Okafor, the third overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, has become a dispensable asset for the 76ers because of the upcoming season debut of Joel Embiid. Okafor and Nerlens Noel were reportedly placed on trading block, but most analysts believe that former Duke standout will be the first man out this offseason.
The deal could be a step backward for the Cavaliers, especially after winning the title during their epic seven-game series against the Golden State Warriors. Love struggled to adjust to his role as third option next to LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, but he provided spacing for his fellow superstars.
Levy pointed out, though, that the Cavaliers will acquire a promising prospect in Okafor while still dominating the Eastern Conference. When James’ game starts to dwindle, the Cavaliers will have Okafor and Irving as the future faces of their franchise.
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