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 9, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) reacts in the second quarter against the LA Clippers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /

Why the Knicks should make the trade

Putting aside Love’s contract for a moment, and focusing on his game—he would be a perfect fit for a Knicks team without much reliable outside shooting and floor spacing; imagine Love standing in the corner, with a defender unsure whether to help off him when Barrett or Payton drives into the paint.

The 32-year-old forward has also been a reliable rebounder throughout his career—he’s never averaged less than 9.1 boards per game in any season of his career. That glass-cleaning ability could provide insurance for Mitchell Robinson should he continue to get in foul trouble, or could pair nicely with Nerlens Noel should they overlap on the floor at the four and five positions.

Finally, Love is acclimated to not being a ball-dominant player in the last few years, and while he might get more chances to create offense with the Knicks, it’s unlikely he would demand the ball enough to take valuable touches away from New York’s young core.

It was fun imagining what Love’s presence would mean on the floor while it lasted, but we still have to get back down to brass tacks business. Ultimately, the Cavaliers would need to sweeten the deal for the Knicks for assuming responsibility for the remainder of his contract—but they’re in a tough spot considering that they’re also rebuilding and may not want to part with too many valuable picks.

At the end of the day, the Knicks would have to hope that the Cavaliers take an honest assessment of their future, and realize that Love is not going to be a part of it as he approaches his mid 30’s.

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In order to make this trade really viable, Cleveland should include one of their own first round picks in 2021 or 2022, and/or Milwaukee’s first rounder in 2022 (which could be valuable if Giannis Antetokounmpo leaves the Bucks after this season). Assuming Cleveland is willing to do this, the Knicks front office should look long and hard at this transaction.