When LeBron James decided to go back to the Cleveland Cavaliers people immediately wondered if the Cavs would trade for Kevin Love. At first the Cavs did not want to give up Andrew Wiggins but now he might be on the table. At first I wanted the Cavs to keep Wiggins because I want to see him play with LeBron. I know it’s selfish but I think it would be fun watching those two run the floor as Kyrie pushes it up the break. After careful thought I think the Cavs would be better off trading Wiggins, along with Anthony Bennett for Kevin Love.
If the Cavs keep Wiggins then their starting lineup would potentially be Irving, Wiggins, James, Thompson and Varejao. It turns out Dion Waiters wants to start for this team. If you get the number 1 pick and he’s healthy; he has to start. So this would create a conflict within the team already. The starting five should work well even though their best shooters are also their best playmakers. Irving is not a good spot up shooter so who does LeBron drive and kick too? LeBron plays better when he has shooters that can space the floor.
The bench would be Waiters, Mike Miller, Matthew Dellavedova, Anthony Bennett and maybe Brendan Haywood. I don’t think you want Waiters running your bench unit. He’s a scorer but not a playmaker. This lineup won’t be on the floor at the same time but Miller and Dellavedova are good shooters that will play best with LeBron on the floor.
If the Cavs add Ray Allen then they will have to find room for the best three pointer shooter in league history. How will they find time for Allen, Miller and maybe James Jones; the proven veterans on the team, while still finding time to develop Wiggins and Bennett; the last two number 1 picks in the draft? Throw in Dion Waiters and it starts looking crowded in Cleveland.
So let’s trade Wiggins and Bennett for Love. I don’t know if that will be enough to get Love but for this article it works. Waiters and Love join the starting lineup with Irving, James and Varejao. Irving and LeBron benefit from Love being on the floor. He spaces the floor, he’s not a great defender but he grabs defensive rebounds and that ends possessions. LeBron is a better leader now and he will push everyone to improve in any way possible. Waiters can learn to be a great cutter off the ball; just like Wade was in Miami.
Thompson and Miller will most likely be the first 2 guys off the bench. Miller was a surprise last season. After looking all beat up in Miami, he played in all 82 games and the seven playoff games last year for the Grizzlies. Thompson had his moments last year and should improve from playing with LeBron. Trading for Love might hinder the bench but it’s worth it. The Cavs will have to come up with some creative lineups once the bench comes in. They have a lot of spot up shooters who provide spacing for LeBron, Love and Irving.
The key for the Cavs this season should be limiting LeBron’s minutes. He’s played over 3,000 minutes in seven seasons. Last year he was at 2,902 minutes and around a career low 37.7 minutes per game. However he played a lot without D-Wade so he had to carry the team more often. He should get plenty of rest with Irving and Love doing the heavy lifting. He played a lot of basketball over the past four seasons and is about to turn 30. Keeping his body fresh during the regular season will help them in the postseason. He has become a very efficient player so playing fewer minutes won’t hurt the team.
Trading for Love does not guarantee a championship for Cleveland. However he is an established player and he’s only 25. It might be more exciting watching Wiggins, James and Irving running the floor but they will go further with Kevin Love throwing outlets to LeBron. The Cavs should pull the trigger and make the trade. Love is excited to play with LeBron and would resign with the Cavs and that will make them contenders for years to come.