With the trade deadline approaching, the New York Knicks tried to negotiate a trade to send Carmelo Anthony to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kevin Love. Cleveland promptly declined the offer but the question now becomes, is this a fair trade for either, or both teams?
For the New York Knicks, of course, this trade makes sense. The relationship between Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony is unhealthy and obviously needs to be broken up as soon as possible. With the Cavs struggling right now [read “Should Cavaliers Fans be Concerned About Their Team’s Recent Struggles” for more] the Knicks probably figured they would offer a trade that could potentially fix both team’s problems.
For the Cleveland Cavaliers, I understand why they rejected the offer. With LeBron James approaching the final years of his prime at 32 years old, they need to start looking toward the future early so they can avoid going through the rebuilding stage. Carmelo Anthony is 32 years old and averages 22.7 points per game, 3.1 assists, and 6.1 rebounds while Kevin Love is 28 and averages 20.5 points per game and 11 rebounds. When you take age and numbers into consideration, this trade doesn’t make sense for the Cavs.
Anthony is approaching the last years of his prime as well (if he isn’t out of it already) and the last thing Cleveland needs, is to waste one of their team’s top three assets for another aging superstar. I definitely don’t think Kevin Love will last too much longer on this team but I think trading him for younger players or a draft pick that can impact the future, would make more sense.
How do the Cavaliers solve their recent struggles? Easy, Cleveland’s problem as of late has been their lack of consistency off the bench. We have seen Kevin Love run offenses before as his stats with the Timberwolves were significantly better than with the Cavaliers. Love averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 4 assists in his best season with Minnesota. That being said, my solution would be to take Kevin Love out of the starting lineup and replace him with Kyle Korver. Putting Korver back into a starting lineup might wake him up a bit and
Putting Korver back into a starting lineup might wake him up a bit and giving Kevin Love the task of controlling his own offense might bring back the numbers from his Minnesota days. As long as Love has the right mentality about the change and sees it as a chance to embrace a new role instead of a punishment, then I truly believe that will solve Cleveland’s lack of fire coming off the bench.
LeBron Jame also stated after their loss to the Pelicans on Monday that the team needed a “playmaker” and to me, that should have been a wake-up call to Kyrie Irving. Don’t get me wrong, I think Kyrie’s scoring ability is tremendous but right now the team needs him to bring out his inner point guard to help get everyone involved. The Cavs will have to make up for a lump-some of scoring but if everyone is getting shots and moving the ball, I think the players will be more content and more successful.