Knicks: Why New York should consider trading for Kevin Love

Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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Feb 29, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis (11) defends Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) during the first half at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Why the Cavs would make the trade

In any trade scenario for the Cavaliers’ talented but expensive stretch four (Love has three more years on his deal at an average cap hit of just over $30 million per season), Julius Randle would have to be the centerpiece.

Randle’s contract could potentially be an expiring deal, as his third season is only guaranteed for $4 million, so Cleveland would have the flexibility to let him walk if he doesn’t pan out for them, or they could bring him back as someone who is more on their timeline.

Cleveland also has prototypical center in Andre Drummond on the books as an expiring contract for this season, so they would have a plethora of options with regards to the direction of their team should they unload Love’s contract. They could keep Randle next season and re-sign Drummond, keep one out of two, or let both of them walk to clean the cap slate.

While the above reasoning would seem to make sense for the Cavaliers from a salary and franchise directional perspective, would they also demand that the Knicks include a young player on a rookie deal in a potential trade?

It’s possible they would want Kevin Knox thrown in as a flyer, considering he still has two years on his contract, and could be intriguing playing next to Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. The Knicks could be amenable to doing this, as it seems like he’s falling behind in the young player pecking order of R.J. Barrett, Obi Toppin and Frank Ntilikina. And if they gain a greater future draft pick in return, it might be worth considering. However, the premise of the deal is based on Cleveland unloading an unfavorable contract.