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Is Kevin Love The Missing Piece In Cleveland?

Is Love The Missing Piece In Cleveland?

Even before LeBron James decided to take his talents back to Cleveland, the Cavilers found themselves with a young roster full of number-one draft picks. Just a few months ago, they picked Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins with the first pick in the 2014 draft, which comes just one year after adding Anthony Bennett with the top pick in 2013. The Cavs have been one of the most active teams this offseason and it looks like they may not be done yet.

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Most of the talk in recent days has been about the potential of trading away Wiggins and Bennett to bring in Minnesota’s Kevin Love to join James, Kyrie Irving and the rest of the Cavs. With a trio that consists of James, Love and Irving, the Cavs would quickly have one of the best trios in the entire league. The question is: is Love worth giving away the foundation of the future for the Cavs?

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When LeBron James was part of the Cavaliers during the first seven years of his career, he was simply a superstar player without much winning experience. However, after joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, James continued on his path to becoming the best player in the world, while adding plenty of experience during his time winning back-to-back NBA Championships in 2012 and 2013.

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By drafting three top picks during the course of four years, the Cavs looked as if they were adequately preparing for the future. However, when James decided to rejoin his hometown team, things quickly shifted. Now they are considering dropping two of their previous top picks, as well as any pick that they’d have in 2015, in order to bring in three-time All Star Kevin Love.

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Bennett, for the most part, certainly hasn’t shown the quality performances that you’d hope to see from a first-overall pick. In truth, Bennett was a bit of surprise in 2013 after an All-American campaign during his only year at UNLV. In 52 games during his rookie season, Bennett failed to start in any, and averaged just 13 minutes and 4 points per game.

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As for Wiggins, some of the same concerns are present with him. Widely touted as the best player in his class while in high school, Wiggins didn’t quite perform as many expected during his time at Kansas. That said, he has had a successful summer league and made plenty of highlight dunks to show the potential that he has.

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If the Cavs were willing to split ways with Wiggins and Bennett in exchange for Love, it certainly would be a move that shows that the team is ready to play with the present in mind. After being drafted with the fifth overall pick in 2008, Love was the NBA’s most improved player in 2011, won a gold medal for team USA at the 2012 Olympics, and this last season he became the first player in NBA history to put up 2,000 points, 900 rebounds and 100 3-pointers in a single season. You can check back with sportspicks.com handicappers to see how the acquisition of Love might affect the Cavs, as well as the rest of the NBA.

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What may be more important is that Love is a 6’10” player who can take a lot of pressure off of LeBron James. Love is known as a player who can play both inside and out, similar to that of James. As defenses have to adjust to cover Love, that should free up space for James. This is even better news for Kyrie Irving, who showed just how brilliant he can be when teamed up with other superstars as he nabbed the 2014 NBA All Star MVP award.

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The Cavs quickly increased their odds with the drafting of Wiggins. But after the acquisition of the best player in the world, LeBron James and the Cavs find themselves at a league-best 4/1 odds to win the 2015 NBA Championship. We could still be a few days away from seeing how things shake out, but it’s apparent that the Cavaliers want to get pieces to help James win his third NBA Championship, and the first for the city of Cleveland.