The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor took a look at early season trade rumors in the NBA as the key Dec. 15th date approaches. In his piece, he offers some insight into Kevin Love’s situation in Cleveland:
Love would prefer to play for his hometown Portland Trail Blazers, according to multiple league sources. The Blazers make perfect sense as a destination for Love; they need help for Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum after the team has been decimated by injuries. Last week, Rodney Hood suffered a ruptured left Achilles tendon, joining Jusuf Nurkic (broken leg) and Zach Collins (dislocated left shoulder) on the sideline. Nurkic will return this season, and Love would be a terrific frontcourt partner because of his perimeter shooting and playmaking ability. Portland could then play big upfront, which would be valuable in a series against a team with a bigger frontcourt, like the Lakers. Or, it could go with Love at center, which could be useful against the Rockets, who often size down with P.J. Tucker at center.
The Blazers have the salaries to make a deal work with the expiring contracts of Hassan Whiteside ($27.1 million) or Kent Bazemore ($19.3 million). Why not send both to Cleveland and also trade for Tristan Thompson? The Cavs center is also available and would like to play for a contender.
While a potential Love to Portland trade has been speculated about for some time, this is the first time that it’s been reported that Love would prefer the Trail Blazers over other teams.
O’Connor also had this interesting nugget about another potential Trail Blazers target:
Portland is also expected to pursue Oklahoma City’s Danilo Gallinari, according to league sources. The Blazers have options to help save their season following the Carmelo Anthony Band-Aid.
With the season going off the rails, would you welcome either Love or Gallinari to Portland? Let us know in the comments!