ThePortland Trail Blazersmade a splash when they announced the signing of 10 – time All-Star Carmelo Anthony. For a team that made it to the doorstep of the NBA Finals last season, the addition of Anthony is the equivalent of hoping to catch lightning in a bottle after a 5 – (start to the season.)
On Saturday, they will get a close look atCleveland Cavaliersstar big man Kevin Love. It wasn’t far from Portland that the star of Love began, as he was a five-star recruit while at Lake Oswego High School in Lake Oswego, Oregon.
Now a two-time All-NBA performer, Love has ascended to the upper echelon of talent in the league. He has a maximum contract on a team that appears unlikely to challenge for a championship in the immediate future. One can begin to see the arithmetic beginning to line up. While the Blazers will have to guard Love on Saturday, it would behoove them to have him on their side for the remainder of 2019 – 20 by acquiring him in a deal.
As with any trade that involves acquiring a superstar player, expect picks to be central to the negotiation. Cleveland already boasts one of the youngest rosters in the league, and by dealing Love, they would hope to get an enormous haul back that could revamp their rebuilding process.
For arguments sake, Portland would likely have to part ways with at least two first-round Draft selections, in addition to a package of players that might include the likes of Nassir Little, Skal Labissiere and / or Zach Collins.
While it may seem like a steep price to depart with on the surface, it goes without saying that the franchise wants to capitalize on its window for contention in the Western Conference. The only team that was able to slow the Blazers in 2018 – 19 was theGolden State Warriors, who now boast a roster that is in shambles following myriad injuries.
While the rest of the West has stacked up on All-Stars duos (LeBron James/Anthony Davis,Kawhi Leonard/Paul George,James Harden/Russell WestbrookandLuka Doncic/ Kristaps Porzingis) that seem primed to lead their squad into June, it could be the addition of a third All- Star for Portland that tips the balance of power.
Damian LillardandCJ McCollumare in Rip City for the long haul. Hassan Whiteside has looked solid in his first month with the team. Head coach Terry Stotts has led the team to the postseason in each of the past six years.
All of the ingredients for a run to the NBA Finals appear to be on the table, with Kevin Love potentially being the piece that puts them over the top and allows them to claw their way past what will be a tenuous journey through the Western Conference in 2019 – 20.