It’s no secret that LeBron James is the defecto general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers. And several sources indicate that the 3-time Finals MVP is pushing for the Cavs front office to trade Kevin Love to the Sacramento Kings for all-star center DeMarcus Cousins.
Time to pull the trigger?
The Love-for-Cousins trade rumor has been active all year long. It started late last year. It picked up steam before February’s trade deadline until dying down. In recent weeks, the rumor has once again gained traction in the aftermath of Love’s lackluster performance in the NBA Finals (8.5 points and 6.5 rebounds).
It’s clear that Love and Cavs are a mismatch. Love, who once averaged 26 points and 14 rebounds for Minnesota Timberwolves, has become an afterthought in Cleveland’s offense. During the finals, as many as six players clocked more minutes than Love over the course of the seven-game series against the Golden State Warriors.
LeBron James gets what he wants….
Last offseason, James pushed for the Cavs to give Tristan Thompson a five-year $82 million deal. In fact, some went as far as to suggest that James held the Cavs front office hostage and refused to return until Thompson got the deal he wanted. Remember, Thompson is represented by the LeBron James-funded Klutch Sports Group.
James was also instrumental in the Andrew Wiggins-Kevin Love trade. He was also the primary reason behind Cavs literally stealing J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert from the New York Knicks.
Cavs GM David Griffin realizes that keeping James happy is the primary focus of the organization. A happy James means more trips to the finals and potentially a few more championships. So why would the front office not buckle up and do as suggested?
The Kevin Durant-Warriors factor…
With the Golden State Warriors retooling their roster with Kevin Durant, James has been forced to once again don the hat of GM and figure out ways to improve his championship-winning squad.
In the aftermath of Cavs’ championship parade, GM David Griffin reiterated that he intended to keep the band together. “We do intend to keep this group together and see what we’re capable of. I think our best basketball’s in front of us because we finally organically grew to the point that we were ready to achieve something together,” Griffin told “NBA Lockdown Insiders” on ESPN Radio.
Remember, the aforementioned interview was conducted prior to Durant joining the Warriors. LeBron James and the Cavs are under pressure to retool or at least find a better replacement for Kevin Love. Otherwise, the Warriors are running away with the title.