* * *
You can put the Kevin Love-for-Carmelo Anthony trade rumors to rest by telling me how such a trade makes no sense for the defending champs … can’t you?
* * *
David Aldridge: Of course it makes no sense. If you couldn't see how Love impacts a game in more ways than 'Melo watching that sensational Cavs-Wizards OT game Monday, I have nothing for you. Love is a better perimeter threat than Anthony, which spaces the floor and gives LeBron and Kyrie room to penetrate. He's a better rebounder than Anthony. And while neither are going to be first team all-defense, Love got stops on John Wall and Bradley Beal on consecutive possessions in OT after getting switched on them -- just as he did on key possessions in Game 7 of the Finals against Golden State. The Cavs' chemistry is always a work in progress, and I don't doubt that LeBron is closer to and friendlier with Carmelo than Kevin. But from a basketball standpoint, for that team (what would Irving do while LBJ and 'Melo took turns with the ball--take up knitting?), it doesn't make sense.
Steve Aschburner: Why soitenly! Trading Kevin Love for Carmelo Anthony makes no sense for the Cavaliers because Love is both the better fit with Cleveland, the better player these days and the one with the brighter future, given the gap in their ages (Love 28, Melo 32). The way Anthony scores doesn’t fit the Cavs’ style, and suddenly becoming the third wheel on a contending team wouldn’t fit Melo’s style either. LeBron James wants his championship window to be propped open as long as possible, but Anthony – like himself, frankly, though James’ peak was way higher – has started his trek downward. As for that magnificent outlet pass from Love to LeBron in Washington, James would end up as the guy making the passes, with Kyrie Irving making the shot. How would 'Melo like that?
Fran Blinebury: Could the Cavs win a championship with Carmelo Anthony in the place of Kevin Love? Yes. We have seen the LeBron James/Anthony tandem work at the Olympics. Have the Cavs already won a championship with Love? Yes. Toss in the fact that Love is more than four years younger and quite capable himself of putting up 39 and 12 as he did against the Wizards and it’s just a totally unnecessary move. Most of this is fueled by a Phil Jackson desperate to unload Carmelo and a New York media that is in its perennial state of trying to convince everyone that the world owes the Knicks. Fact is, the Knicks are the most overhyped, overrated franchise in the NBA, last winning a championship 44 years ago and rarely being relevant.
Scott Howard-Cooper: Easily. Whatever problems the Cavaliers have, Kevin Love isn’t one of them. And LeBron James is calling out for a playmaker, not a ball-stopper. Carmelo Anthony is a glittery name that draws a lot of attention, he can score and rebound and has enough left to be a valuable piece for some team looking to add a piece for a push to June. But he isn’t what Cleveland needs, and certainly not for Love.
Shaun Powell: We can put it to rest because LeBron did just that. However, for argument's sake, I don't see how this improves the Cavs. Love is having one of the best years of his career, unless you place a higher value on those years when he put up big numbers for losing Minnesota teams. Remember, this is a guy who was benched during the NBA Finals but has rallied in a big way. He's giving the Cavs the kind of scoring and rebounding they'd get with Carmelo, so again, what's the upside of a trade from Cleveland's angle?
John Schuhmann: Anthony would be a different player (closer to USA Basketball 'Melo) alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving than he is in New York, where the playmaking is lacking. (When Irving has a higher assist rate than your starting point guard, you have a problem.) He's a better shooter off the catch than Love is, so from an offensive standpoint, I can see the appeal. But Love is the much better rebounder and, believe it or not, the better defender. He also gives the Cavs more flexibility, in that he can be the lone big in James-at-the-four lineups. Love didn't look like the greatest fit a year ago, but he's more comfortable with the Cavs now and an increase in efficiency has come with an increase in usage rate this season.
Sekou Smith: A Love-for-Melo swap makes absolutely no sense for the Cavaliers. They need a deal that send Carmelo Anthony to Cleveland to join Love, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James in the quest to repeat as NBA champions with a roster capable of repelling the Golden State Warriors and their four stars (Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson). I don't know how they get it done, but that's the deal the Cavaliers need. Swapping Love for Melo would leave Cleveland in need of the help LeBron believes they so desperately need. Go ahead David Griffin, you've got a couple of weeks to get this mega-deal done.
Ian Thomsen: Everyone in Cleveland is denying the desire for that trade, first of all. And it’s easy to understand why: They won a championship last year when Love wasn’t yet integrated offensively nearly so well as he is today. When LeBron James is frustrated by his roster and asks for another playmaker, he isn’t complaining about Love. As much as I believe the Clippers or Celtics would benefit from the addition of Anthony, I’m just as certain that this is not the time for Cleveland to break up its championship formula – especially now that Love has finally found his role.
Lang Whitaker: Sure. Hey, one team has proven chemistry and a dude who just put up 39 and 12 in his last game. And then there's Anthony. Look, 'Melo is a proven scorer who can create his own shot, but the last thing the Cavs need is someone keeping the ball out of the hands of LeBron and Kyrie. Love is a perfect complementary player for what Cleveland does offensively, and if I'm the Cavs, getting JR Smith back will be the perfect late-season playmaking addition.