Solving the LeBron James problem

6 Have your say

    As a humble teacher who spent the majority of his lunchtimes over the past two months sneaking the end of all the NBA playoff games in the staff room, I have come to a solution that solves the following three problems for the NBA.

    1. Stopping LeBron James leaving Cleveland and sending the entire city into a recession.
    2. Finding an Eastern Conference team worth the cost of the flights between cities during the NBA finals.
    3. Finally getting to see Minnesota Kevin Love again.

    The trade is quite simple according to ESPN’s Trade Machine:
    Cleveland receive Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills, Portland receive Kevin Love and the No. 8 pick in the 2018 NBA draft, while San Antonio receive Damian Lillard and Kyle Korver.

    So, who says no?


    The Cavs would drive Kevin Love to the airport if it meant bring Kawhi Leonard in, and the sweetener of Patty Mills filling the role of either JR Smith’s starting role, or coming off the bench and providing much-needed floor spacing.

    In this trade, the Cavs not only get younger, but they also gain a two-way superstar entering his prime, who – as an added bonus – can no longer guard LeBron James in any future match ups.

    Kawhi could realistically win the MVP next season as he returns from his injury, providing LeBron the opportunity to coast through the regular season and peak for the playoffs.

    Cleveland lose
    $29.6 million
    26.9 points per game

    Cleveland gain
    $29.6 million
    26.2 points per game.

    Cleveland cannot say yes fast enough.

    San Antonion Spurs' Kawhi Leonard.

    Kawhi Leonard (AP Photo/Darren Abate)


    Portland receive Kevin Love, who attended high school in Oregon, which makes him a great addition to the ‘home grown’ feel of the Portland Trailblazers.

    Love was once a walking double-double when playing for the Timberwolves and he has never reached these peaks as a number two option with LeBron. With this trade, Love becomes a realistic number one option and forms a dangerous inside-outside threat with CJ McCollum.

    Many experts have mentioned that the duo of McCollum and Lillard are not going to be able to lead the Blazers to a championship, and we saw in the playoffs that a large body to make the likes of Anthony Davis and Draymond Green work on defence would make a huge difference to Portland’s playoff hopes.

    Portland also gets the added bonus on pick eight in this year’s draft, which has the possibility of becoming a two-way wing type such as Michael Porter Jr, who can make this a legitimate big three to contend in the Western Conference.

    Portland lose
    $26.2 million
    Number 24 draft pick in the 2018 NBA draft

    Portland gain
    $22.6 million
    Number eight draft pick in the 2018 NBA draft.

    Portland says yes.

    San Antonio?

    San Antonio would prefer to have LeBron come to them, rather than sending their best player to him, however if the relationship between the Spurs and Leonard is as bad as people are reporting, then this could be the best deal they Spurs receive.

    Boston may trump this deal with a mix of young talent and draft picks, however they are up to their elbows in trading for Anthony Davis so this may take priority over Leonard.

    The Spurs receive an All-NBA point guard to pair with LaMarcus Aldridge and have the potential to unleash a two point-guard system for Gregg Popovich to work with to make the offence really click.

    Adding to this the No.24 pick in this year’s draft is deep in Spurs territory to find a hidden gem to add to their well-oiled machine.

    Kyle Korver then becomes a salary filler who can still provide outstanding floor spacing and, as he showed when in Atlanta, he can thrive in a ball-motion offence.

    The Spurs lose
    $29.6 million

    The Spurs gain
    $33.2 million
    Number 24 pick in the 2018 NBA draft

    Ideally, the Spurs say no and keep Leonard, however if they cannot keep him happy, then this deal provides them a superstar in return and keeps them relevant in the Western Conference.

    Who says no?

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    The Crowd Says (6)

    • Roar Rookie

      June 13th 2018 @ 8:53am
      John said | June 13th 2018 @ 8:53am | ! Report

      I think It has been reported just today that Leonard is very happy to stay in San Antonio and is likely to sign a Max Contract extension.

      But if Leonard is asking out getting Lillard in return is an interesting option, not sure if its enough but as you point out if they do not have the leverage then who knows.

      Do you think Portland are better or worse after this trade?

      • June 13th 2018 @ 8:58am
        All the gear, no idea said | June 13th 2018 @ 8:58am | ! Report

        I think Portland is a not as strong next year overall, but with the potential for Love, McCollum and who ever they pick at No. 8 will be a better team 3 years from now.

        • June 13th 2018 @ 5:21pm
          Louis said | June 13th 2018 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

          3 years from now Kevin Love is 32.
          You’d think Portland would pick one of the Bridges at number 8 in that instance too.
          I think 30/30 teams would decline the offer for Kevin Love/Bridges for Lillard

    • June 13th 2018 @ 11:11am
      astro said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:11am | ! Report

      I wish I had a teacher who spent their lunchtime considering NBA trades!!!

      As fair as trade ideas go, this is not too bad! But…Portland definitely says ‘no’. They’re not giving up a guy who was just voted first team all-nba, for a banged up Kevin Love and no.8.

      Fact is, ‘Minnesota Kevin Love’ is gone and wont come back for two reasons: 1. the role of the PF has changed since Love was in Minny in 2014 and his low post skills are no longer the asset they once were, and 2. Love’s injury history since 2014 is significant – multiple concussions, on-going back and knee/hip problems and the broken hand this season. He’s had 21 injuries which have required him to miss games since he left Minny…

      Also not sure of the fit with Nurkic. But a nice trade to think about…Thanks for the article!

    • June 13th 2018 @ 11:34am
      BrainsTrust said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:34am | ! Report

      They can offer a cash sweetener to facilitate bad trades like the ones your proposing, but its limited.
      Loves contract is back ended so he is going to be paid even more , vary hard to trade him.

    • June 14th 2018 @ 6:58pm
      Swampy said | June 14th 2018 @ 6:58pm | ! Report

      This is a really good trade for all parties. I’m glad you actually used the trade machine to check it works. I’m not sure why brains trust thinks its bad…

      Spurs need a pg. Cavs need a young scorer/defender star. Portland need to not have two porous back court stars and to jettison at least one poor contract (can they give the Cavs Evan turner as well?).

      I like all of it bar the fact I think LeBron is at the end. I don’t think he will stay because he needs a new team of youth around him so he can finally start to slide. I reckon this playoffs was the last rodeo for LeBron being the all dominating best player in the league. He will still be the smartest, strongest player but his speed, jump and recovery is on the irreversible decline. We saw hints in the playoffs.

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