On July 11 LeBron James not only caught the attention of the entire basketball world with his decision to return to Cleveland, he also caught the attention of Minnesota Timberwolves’ power forward Kevin Love. Almost instantaneously after James made his decision, Love made it known that he would be open to a trade to Cleveland and was prepared to commit to the Cavs long-term.
After acquiring James, Cleveland almost instantly entered among the favorites to win next year’s NBA championship. It makes sense that a player in Love’s situation with Minnesota, a team which has not made the playoffs since 2004, would be intrigued by the prospect of becoming a Cavalier.
Cleveland management has also shown signs of interest in a trade for Love. The Cavs have considered making a trade for Love which would send forward Anthony Bennett and this year’s first overall pick in the NBA Draft, Andrew Wiggins, to Minnesota. Wiggins, however, plans to sign with Cleveland later this week which will prevent him being traded away from the Cavs for the next thirty days.
Reports also broke Tuesday that the Chicago Bulls are the biggest threat to Cleveland in this quest for Love’s services. Chicago has reportedly shown a new interest in trading forward Taj Gibson, guard Jimmy Butler and other pieces for Love. However, Cleveland allegedly has a ‘firm lead’ on all other suitors for the three time all-star.
Love certainly boosted his appeal to other clubs with a stellar 2013-2014 regular season. Love averaged 26.1 PPG (Fourth in the NBA), 12.5 RPG (Third in the NBA) and dished out 4.4 APG. Love was selected to his third all-star team and became the first player in NBA history to score 2000 points, snag 900 rebounds and drain 100 3-point field goals in a single season.
Since being taken fifth overall in the 2008 NBA Draft, Love has been a benchmark for consistency as a big man, averaging 19.2 PPG and 12.2 RPG. Should Love leave the T-Wolves, Cleveland currently stands as the favorite for acquiring Love’s services. An intimidating thought for Eastern Conference contenders who may have to face a Cavs lineup including Kyrie Irving, LeBron James and Kevin Love in the coming postseasons.