1. Trade for Kevin Love
In some respects, Kevin Love is almost the forgotten man of the league. In addition to the departure of LeBron James to the Los Angeles Lakers, Love’s absence for a good portion of last season due to a toe injury meant his impact on the Cleveland Cavaliers was significantly diminished.
Overall, Love played just 22 games last season, following up from 59 and 60 games the previous two seasons. Therefore, he represents as somewhat of a risk, especially when you also take into account his four-year, $120 million contract that takes effect at the beginning of next season.
Having said that, Love would make as incredible fit as the stretch-4 alongside center Bam Adebayo. A double-double machine, Love possesses career averages of 18.3 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. So while he turns 31 prior to next season, Love is nonetheless a five-time All-Star, and a member of the 2016 NBA champions.
In a deal that benefits each side, the Cavs firstly receive up-and-coming swingman Justise Winslow. In the absence of the injured Goran Dragic, Winslow exhibited his versatility as a playmaker, further adding to capabilities at the defensive end of the floor. Additionally, Winslow grew as a perimeter shooter, converting at a 37.5 percent clip on a career-high 3.9 attempts per game.
Furthermore, the Cavaliers will not only receive the Heat’s No. 13 overall pick in the upcoming draft, they also receive the expiring $15.7 million contract of Ryan Anderson. In essence, while they are losing an elite player and popular teammate, the Cavaliers are significantly improving their salary cap flexibility as they continue their rebuild.
Following these deals, the Heat’s rotation would appear as follows:
- G – Jrue Holiday
- G – Dion Waiters
- F – Jae Crowder
- F – Kevin Love
- C – Bam Adebayo
- G – J.J. Redick
- G – Dante Exum
- F – Stanley Johnson
- F – James Johnson
- C – Hassan Whiteside
While this kind of summer would certainly represent a dramatic change, Pat Riley is someone who’ll never die wondering.