Central Notes: Cavs, Pacers, Pistons, Bucks

Since the Cavaliers fell to Golden State earlier this week in the NBA Finals, there has been a ton of speculation about how the Cavs should respond this summer, and the idea of acquiring Pacers forward Paul George in a trade involving Kevin Love has been a popular one.

There are no reports at this point suggesting that either team is considering such a deal, but Ben Golliver of SI.com makes the case that a Love/George would make a lot of sense for both the Cavaliers and Pacers. Golliver argues that Cleveland would get a badly-needed perimeter defender to combat Kevin Durant, while Indiana would land an impact player in his own right and could avoid embarking on a lengthy rebuilding process.

While Golliver’s piece is an interesting one, I’m less inclined to believe that the move would be in the Pacers’ best interests. The club isn’t yet at a point where it needs to trade George to avoid losing him for nothing. Even if and when that time comes, Indiana may prefer to move him for a package that includes picks and/or young players, rather than for a pricey veteran like Love.

Here’s more from around the Central division:

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17 thoughts on “Central Notes: Cavs, Pacers, Pistons, Bucks

  1. mikehawk120

    Cavs fans just as delusional as GSW fans thinking they can get any player they want cuz they’re THE CAVS but don’t know there is a salary cap and teams won’t make stupid trades such as Love for PG-13

    • DarkGhost

      Well I don’t really see what the salary cap has to do with a trade between Kevin Love and Paul George because that would work under the cap rules. Also why is that a dumb trade for either team. Paul George is going to leave Indiana when he is a free agent so the pacers can either get something for him or nothing. Getting Kevin love while he would be a downgrade from PG is a whole heck of a lot better than what most teams can offer or letting him walk in free agency. For the cavs it makes sense because it gives them a player that can lessen Lebrons load because they play the same position. Also PG is a much better defender than Kevin love and when the warriors and cavs play he could guard KD instead of Lebron allowing Lebron to focus on running the offense. But perhaps the most important thing is PG would give them another playmaker/ ball handler other than just kyrie and Lebron. One of the biggest take always from the finals this year was the warriors had 5-6 players that could handle the ball and make plays for the team and the cavs had 2. Aside from when JR gets hot one out of every 3 games the entire cavs offense has to be set up by Lebron or kyrie. That’s a lot to ask of two players when they are having to play against a team with 4 all NBA players on the other side while Lebron has to guard KD and kyrie has to guard steph.

      • sunshipballoons

        The defense is key. That’s the main reason Cleveland would do it. The teams that beat the Warriors do it by slowing them down a little. Cleveland can’t do that right now.

  2. sunshipballoons

    If I’m Indiana, I only trade George for Love if I can pick up a couple of Cavs picks in the early-2020s. (I’m not sure how far in the future NBA teams are allowed to trade picks.)

  3. formerlyz

    I don’t get the sentiment from people that think Indiana should make that kind of a trade. They keep saYing it’s b/c they could lose Paul George for nothing….OR they could just make a better trade elsewhere? Who says they can only trade him to the Cavs? Lol there are plenty of teams with way better assets that could and would move them for Paul George, even for 1 season…..

    If the Cavs are going to improve their roster, they’ll have to do something drastic b/c they have so much money on their books and essentially no way to really add anything…put together a few random proposals that will likely never happen, but it’s stuff like that which seems like the only way they can really do anything

    Probably not something Phoenix would do, but how about Tristan Thompson, Jr smith, Iman shimpert, Channing Frye, 2021 Cavs 1st round pick, and rights to Cedi Osman to Phoenix for Bledsoe, Chandler, Jared Dudley, Leandro Barbosa and Toronto 2017 2nd round pick. I feel like it’s an asset light on Cleveland’s side going back to Phoenix b/c they’re moving Bledsoe

    Or what about a deal with portland. Like the same pieces going out from cleveland for Crabbe, Turner, Leonard, and Ezili…

    Or the lakers for Deng, Mozgov, Clarkson, and Nick Young…

    Or some sort of deal with the Clippers with Kevin love, Tristan Thompson, Iman Shumpert, Kyle Korver, Cavs 2021 1st rounder, Cedi Osman for DeAndre Jordan, Jamal Crawford, Austin rivers, Wesley Johnson.

    That last one is probably the worst one. They all might be bad. Just trying to see what kind of drastic things theyd have to do to change their roster. They definitely aren’t going to be able to open up money, and all they have is the MLE, so they have to deal big contracts for big contracts somehow. Would be a lot easier if they still had that 2019 pick they sent to Atlanta

    They have to figure out a way to move Tristan Thompson and Channing Frye. Then if they can move JR and Shumpert and replace those guys, that can help as well, even though they do currently need them. If they need to be moved to clear money, they need to be moved..

    Cavs desperately need to improve defensively at the guard spot/on the wing/at the 5. Nobody can deny that they made a lot of moves this year, totally disregarding defense, including randomly letting DeAndre Liggins go right before the end of the season. That was very significant for them…they need to get more athletic somehow. I just don’t really know what they can really do.

    Like i said. I don’t know that any of this does much, but they have to figure out something. I don’t know what it is or what it will be, but I’m just throwing stuff out there lol. All I know is they can’t just come back the same. Even if they have to move Love to move the other guys/open up money to make additions and improve their defense and rest of their roster, that has to be in consideration

  4. KnicksCavsFan

    None of those deals make a lick of sense for the Cavs.

    I’m not sure why there’s this notion that the Cavs need to make any wholesale trades. I feel like this is all getting absurd because of the Warriors. I understand that beating the GSW is the ONLY end game but you still have to put out a cohesive team to even get to the finals.

    However, the Cavs need to have LBJ + Irving + Love + another impact offensive player with height and length (which is why Butler doesn’t make sense) OR a player that is SIGNIFICANTLY better than Love. With Love as a 19pt + 11 rb guy Paul George or Jimmy Butler aren’t significantly better, especially once you consider how neither George nor LBJ want to bang it out in the post and neither option will replace the team leading 11 rb a game we get from Love. Also, as a 3rd option, forget about George or Butler getting the same amount of shots they got with their current teams.

    The player acquired has to match the culture of the teams offense. In Love, he wasn’t in control of the ball and could only shoot when the ball was given to him. However, he contributed in other ways. This is a team that is more focused on the ball being swung from side to side and a lot of ISO on LBJ and Irving. You can’t have 3 guys working the perimiter who need 15-20 shots and are more ISO guys. Plus Butler does nothing to spread the floor.

    The only player that might make sense to me to trade Love for is Demarcus Cousins. He might require the same 15-20 touches as PG or Butler but his presence in the post and his ability is a better compliment to any other option discussed. He can dominate in the post (no one on GSW can match him and it forces them to stay big), he is mobile, can hit a 10-15 ft jumper and an open 3 pt shot, he can protect the rim, pass the ball and replace the rebounding you’d lose from moving Love. Having another player that you can dump the ball into 15-20 times a game is a lot different than having another guy similar in ability to LBJ or Irving. Cousins gives us contrast at a position where there are few that can match his ability.

    I drool over the thought of Cousins on the inside, Irving on the perimeter working his in/out game, a bunch of shooters and LBJ orchestrating everything. Can you imagine all the screens, pic and pops, pic and roles? Yeesh

    • formerlyz

      Cousins is a ball stopper and is also not a rim protector as you mentioned. I’m not saying they need to move Kevin Love. They need to figure out how to get rid of Tristan Thompson and most everyone else and rebuild the defense there. They can find shooters to complement at cheaper money than frye, Korver, Shumpert, and JR smith

  5. One trade idea that came to mind was between Cleveland-Indiana-OKC. Theres some obvious cap issues involved and more pieces in terms of value and helping meet salary exchanges would be needed, but what about something like:

    Cleveland gets: Paul George
    OKC gets: Kevin Love
    Indiana gets: Oladipo and/or Sabonis plus picks

    Cleveland getting George is an obvious win. OKC gives Russ a good shooter in Love who has played with Russ before (at UCLA if I’m not mistaken, might be off a year or two though) and a guy who is a more natural 2nd option to Russ as opposed to Oladipo. Indy acquiring Oladipo and/or Sabonis as a headliner gives them a young player to build around as opposed to Love who would probably be unlikely to stay in Indy anyway (long term at least, not that I’d want him to stay long term anyway as a Pacers fan). The salary doesn’t work that well for OKC or Indy so some bigger contracts would need to exchange hands (Jefferson, Ellis, Kanter, etc). Again not a finished product at all in terms of trade speculation and I’m sure as a fan proposed trade there will be some criticism but it seems like it could be a win-win-win for all three teams depending on the secondary pieces being moved.

    • formerlyz

      Not bad. I don’t know if i trade Oladipo for Love if I’m OKC. I’d rather try to move Kanter and Singler somehow. But I also don’t know how they’d be able to do that, so maybe you have to sacrifice something and add the floor spacer they desperately need. There would have to be other pieces involved in my opinion

      • KnicksCavsFan

        If I’m OKC I would jump at the chance to have Love. He would easily be their best rebounder (Westbrook led the team with 10 whereas Love averaged 11) and would be as good or a better 3pt shooter than Oladipo. In addition, Oladipo is about to get ridiculously expensive as his contract balloons to $21 mil per year x 4. Sorry, but he’s not a $20 mil a year player. At least Love has a pedigree of being a 20+/10+ guy for his career.

        • formerlyz

          I probably look at Oladipo a little bit more than what he was the last couple of years. If OKC can find shooting on the wing, and space the floor. i think that makes Oladipo much better, and I like the dynamic of those 2 guards. Oladipo is a good defender. But ya, Love would be a really good fit there too. I just don’t know what they do on the wing in that scenario, and that’s a bigger need for them IMO.

          • Responding to both of your posts here so for the possible trade ideas, I played around with the trade machine and while the salaries might not work perfectly (the trade machine still uses the 2016-2017 cap hits so my math might be off) the rough base of the deal would be:

            Cleveland gets: Paul George
            OKC gets: Kevin Love, Monta Ellis
            Indiana gets: Enes Kanter, Victor Oladipo, plus first round picks

            Now I think my math is slightly off so Indiana would need to unload at least one of (maybe more) of Kevin Seraphin, Rakeem Christmas, Georges Niang, and/or Joe Young. All four have non-guaranteed contracts though so they can easily be waived. If Sabonis is part of the deal and headed to Indiana, they would likely have to send all four out. Again my math might be off and one of these teams might have to give up some more salary but this could be a base of a deal. I imagine some picks might have to be thrown around too, particularly in Indiana’s direction, and I doubt Cleveland gets away with what is essentially a Love-for-George swap meaning they would have to include some pieces or maybe take on some salary. The inclusion of Ellis (or Al Jefferson or Thad Young) becomes necessary for Indiana to help make salaries match. I figured OKC would have little interest in Al Jefferson (with Steven Adams set for a raise) and Thad Young would end up becoming an expensive backup to Kevin Love (as I don’t believe he’s a good fit at SF anymore). And while Ellis’ play has fallen off a cliff, he would at least give OKC a semi-credible option to replace Oladipo and could also give them someone who can run the offense (to some degree) while Westbrook rests.

            For your second post, mainly regarding Oladipo, using my trade above as a rough estimate of OKC’s cap, they should have some money to extend Roberson. OKC could then start their choice of Ellis/Roberson/McDermott/Abrines/Grant at the SG/SF positions. OKC is also very tied up with salary so the only shooter who becomes an easy swap, without more big contracts needing to change hands, is Glen Robinson (although if Cleveland is willing to let Korver walk, maybe OKC and Cleveland can work some sort of sign-and-trade with him). However, I think the ability for them to now put out a very capable shooting big in Love would help alleviate some of those issues as they haven’t had a big with Love’s shooting skills (Ibaka was the closest and even then he wasn’t that close).

            • formerlyz

              Could okc get rid of Singler as well as Kanter, if they have to take Monte and give up a 1st round pick and Oladipo? and the Cavs would have to include something else. Maybe the rights to Cedi Osman? There could be better avenues for OKC to upgrade and keep Oladipo, so I don’t know if I’d do that. It does get rid of Kanter though….

              • formerlyz

                …also, OKC has McDermott and a few other options at the 4. They need another guard and wing, especially if they move Oladipo

              • They probably could though it depends on who Singler would be going to. The main problem is that the big cap hits are George at around $19m, Love at $21m, Oladipo at $21m, and Kanter at about $18m. Including Singler means another big salary (outside of Ellis and Jefferson) would have to be included. The other issue is that keeping Oladipo, and by extension, attempting to acquire Love now gives OKC 4 guys who are making $20m plus (Westbrook, Oladipo, Love, Adams). Kanter and Singler isn’t enough, in my opinion, for what would essentially be Love. OKC would definitely need to include Sabonis and multiple firsts and might still need to take back another contract.

                And McDermott would be shifted to the 3 with Love out there. If you have the choice between Love and McDermott, you’re taking Love almost every time.

                • formerlyz

                  Obviously Love over McDermott, but I’m saying I’d rather try to get better at the guard/wing spots where I have a big need, than improve an area I already somewhat have shored up. If they have to move Oladipo to further upgrade the frontclurt, they have an even bigger need on the wing. That’s all. So I would use my avenues to upgrade to look for help in those spots, if I’m OKC, even though I think Kevin Love would be an excellent fit there

  6. suburbanwarren

    Lebron needs a break 40+ minutes is too much. The Cav second unit needs improvement! Like the Warriors! What the Cav need is a team that can without Lebron (4-23) without lebron. Warriors can win without Kevin Durant! T Thompson is great but too small! No outside threat! Love is great but fragile as well as Kyrie Irving. The Cav mis the Delly ball. With the Cav over 25,000000. Management have to Figure it out. Options Demarcus Couisin, Paul GEorge but u need to consider the chemistry! I believe the Cav will figure it out to to assemble a group of veterans and young bucks who are hungry for a ring! The Warriors can’t keep all of their players! Lebron wants at least 2 more rings before retirement! There are some pieces like D. Wade, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, Cav can match up with the Warriors like game 4 but do not have the depth!

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