Not that long ago the Phoenix Suns were reportedly interested in acquiring Kevin Love, at the time an All-Star forward looking to leave the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Unfortunately for them, they were unable to come up with an offer that came close to what the Cleveland Cavaliers could, and Love ended up with LeBron James in the Rock and Roll Capital of the World.
But with Love struggling to produce and the Cavs struggling to win, there are some who believe another change of scenery may be best for the 26-year-old.
And not surprisingly, the Suns are mentioned as a possible suitor.
In an ESPN Insider article by Tom Haberstroh, Phoenix comes up as one of the best trade fits should the Cavaliers decide Love just isn’t for them.
Cavaliers get: G Eric Bledsoe and C Alex Len
Phoenix Suns get: PF Kevin Love
See the trade
Why the Cavs would do it: James is as close to Bledsoe as any young player in the league, and they share an agent in Rich Paul. Plus, Bledsoe just happens to excel where the Cavs are weakest: defense. Bledsoe can guard 2s as well as point guards that Irving can’t. Bledsoe is slowly shooting better from deep, and if the Cavs want to get younger and more athletic, this is the deal for them. At 7-foot-1, Len gives them a young giant who can take up space in the middle and provide depth for Mozgov and Thompson in case the latter doesn’t agree to a deal this summer.
Why the Suns would do it: The Suns wanted Love this summer and now they have a logjam at point guard. This deal solves both issues. The tri-point guard lineup has actually been successful this season, but keeping all three players — Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas and Bledsoe — happy all season long might be too tall of a task. Dragic running pick-and-rolls in space with Love like he did with Channing Frye last season? That’s a scary proposition. Plus, Len becomes a bit of a luxury now that Brandan Wright is in the fold.
Salary cap-wise, the trade works. But that’s about the only way.
While Love is indeed an excellent player, that rare big man who has range out to the 3-point line and is also an elite rebounder, the three-time All-Star is slated to become a free agent after this season. Meanwhile, with Bledsoe under contract for the next five seasons and Len the next three, making a trade like this one would put the Suns in a serious financial bind.
Furthermore, while the Suns may very well need to break up their triumvirate at the point, it’s difficult to see them moving Bledsoe, their second leading scorer who at 25 may be on the cusp of becoming an All-Star-caliber player. And to add in Len, the No. 5 pick in last season’s draft who has begun to emerge as a force in the paint, seems like a little much for the surging Suns.