Cavaliers reportedly like Avery Bradley--enough to be centerpiece for Kevin Love? (doubtful)
On a recent podcast with Zach Lowe, ESPN's Brian Windhorst discussed why he believes the Cavaliers and Celtics may still make a deal that brings Kevin Love to Boston. Via Jay King of Mass Live, Windhorst said:
The Celtics is the trade that has made sense for six months. I happen to know the Cavs really like Avery Bradley and to me, I would want Marcus Smart and I would want one of the draft picks. You're not getting the high (No. 3 overall) pick obviously, but you want a draft pick.
I think the Cavs are in a position where they can wait for people to call them. They don't have to make a move. They can say this is a championship core and they can continue to evaluate it. They don't have to -- they are not under pressure to do something. They are not going to say, 'Oh my God, we lost to the Warriors again. We have to do something. We can't leave this team alone.' The pressure to do something has been removed, and I think that takes them from the back seat into the driver's seat in this situation. They can sit there and wait until somebody misses out on free agency and is desperate to improve their team and maybe calls and makes a dramatic offer. And if they don't get those offers they can see how things unfold. ... I think having won the title buys them out of having to make a panic move, which I think they may have been on the path to doing.
It's worth noting that Windhorst is a Cleveland guy and a bit of a Cavs homer. And while it may not happen any time soon, if Danny Ainge is going to trade with Cleveland you'd have to think he's crafty enough to keep the Cavaliers out of the drivers seat (to use Windhorst's expression).
At this point, there are probably a large number of C's fans who wouldn't even be pleased with a Bradley for Love deal straight up. But, just because Love doesn't seem to fit in well with LeBron and Kyrie doesn't mean Brad Stevens couldn't turn him back into the All Star we saw in Minnesota. Consider what Bill Simmons said on his podcast during the NBA Finals:
The guy was so good in Minnesota a couple years ago. I still kind of want him in Boston. I think about all the shots that Jared Sullinger took and missed on the Celtics. These wide open three at the top of the key that the Stevens offense--slash and kick--just creates these great shots for big guys. ...
Then you put Kevin Love in that offense, just in the Sullinger spot. You ask him to do everything they asked Sullinger to do and I think he'd be successful. I do think it basketball [your situation] does matter.
I'd like to believe Ainge wouldn't be willing to part with Jae Crowder or Smart along with Bradley in order to get Love. Using Simmons example, how about a sign-and-trade with Sullinger and AB for Love (maybe with a draft pick too)? The money would also work out evenly in a Love for Bradley and Amir Johnson swap.
At the moment, the Cavs obviously assume they can get more than that for the guy who was worth the No. 1 pick in the draft two years ago. However, if Love is still in town a few months from now Ainge will have had all summer to convince Cleveland it'll be a better team with Bradley and another big instead.
Photo credit: Associated Press
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