The Cleveland Cavaliers will likely trade Kevin Love this summer regardless of the result of the 2016 NBA Finals. And based on recent Los Angeles Lakers rumors, the former All-Star could end up playing with a purple-and-gold jersey starting next season.
Love, who is playing in his second season in Cleveland after the blockbuster trade in 2014, has been struggling to co-exist with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, particularly in the 2016 NBA Finals. The current situation leads to speculation the Cavaliers will eventually part ways with the veteran power forward.
Like what recent Lakers rumors suggested, Los Angeles is one of his most likely landing spots this summer, SB Nation reported. The Cavaliers could ask for No. 2 pick but the Lakers are expected to turn down the offer. The Lakers could still acquire a proven veteran, though, in exchange for a package involving Julius Randle and Larry Nance.
Why Will the Lakers Agree to the Deal?
The Lakers were among the laughingstocks in the league over the past two seasons and failed to give a fitting farewell year to Bryant after ending up with a franchise-worst 17-65 record this season. Los Angeles have the young pieces to succeed in the future like D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson. They could also acquire either Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram, but they still lack a proven leader to even have a chance to make the playoffs next season.
Love could the missing piece of the big puzzle, as he could provide veteran leadership and experience while also piling up big numbers for the Lakers. The 27-year-old forward averaged 16.0 points and 9.9 rebounds this season but could easily tally more than 22 points and 12 rebounds if he plays for the Lakers next season.
Giving up Randle and Nance is a hard decision to make, but fans will surely welcome Love with open arms. He is a Santa Monica, California native and played college ball at UCLA. In fact, the Lakers tried to trade for him before the Cavaliers acquired the three-time All-Star from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for a package involving 2015 NBA Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins.