Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports has suggested that the Portland Trail Blazers send guard CJ McCollum and forward Zach Collins to the Cleveland Cavaliers for a package centering around forward Kevin Love. The proposed move would also bring veteran Channing Frye and guard Rodney Hood to Portland.
But we have a pretty good idea about where the ceiling lies on the Lillard-McCollum backcourt. Three playoff runs, two sweeps. Maybe you get lucky and reach the Western Conference finals. Nurkic is an unsung most improved player candidate, but there’s only one All-Star on this roster and that’s not going to cut it in the playoffs.
So, you spring for Love -- a waste on this Cavs roster, but a boon for the Blazers. A Love-Nurkic pairing makes for one of the best passing frontcourts in all of basketball. Throw Evan Turner in the mix and you have four live playmakers, three of which can shoot at a high percentage.
The 30-year-old Love has appeared in only four games this season, so far averaging 19.0 points and 13.5 rebounds, shooting 32.3% from the field, 29.2% from the arc. His contract runs through 2022-23, peaking at $28.9 million. Hood’s contract expires after this season.
In summation: the Blazers would trade away more production, youth, and take on a player whose contract runs two years farther than McCollum’s.