The Cleveland Cavaliers nearly changed the shape of LeBron James’ second non-superteam with a 5-team mega deal* involving the New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns, according to Stephen A. Smith on Mike & Mike this morning. The trade – which probably fell apart under the weight of its own insanity – would have brought Carmelo Anthony and Paul George to Cleveland and sent Kevin Love… somewhere. As usual, Love was the problem.
No one wants Kevin Love, a 28-year old, 4-time All-Star who just averaged a double-double in the regular season and playoffs who was an integral part of three consecutive Finals teams. It seems that while Phoenix or Denver were the most likely landing spots for Love, no one really wanted to take on his contract which runs through 2020. Love will make $22.6 million this season, he’s not that overpaid when you consider Chandler Parsons, Derrick Rose, Dirk Nowitzki, and Dwight Howard all made more last season. I mean, come on. It’s Kevin Love! Dude rebounds and shoots 3’s. What more could you want from a big man?
Lots I guess.
It’s more of a surprise that these trade talks took place than that they fell apart. ESPN’s Trade Machine can’t even physically handle a 5-team trade and that thing will accept just about anything. Can you imagine how difficult a 5-team deal would be in real life with people in different locations? You would need a weekend retreat and a committee the size of the one that puts together the March Madness brackets to figure that out. Here’s a 4-team deal the Trade Machine accepted.
So just imagine this with Denver getting some random worthless second round picks and some cash or Kevin Love in exchange for their willingness to help one of the two relevant teams make the next regular season more meaningless than the last. Then imagine Danny Aigne saying the Pacers did a great job and the Celtics never could have beaten the offer. I think that makes it feel much more real.
Now it’s back to the waiting game. Will Carmelo Anthony get bought out now that Phil Jackson is out in New York? Can Paul George meet Klay Thompson in Los Angeles in 2019? Will LeBron every get more help? Will anyone ever appreciate Kevin Love?