NBA trade rumors continue to build momentum, even though this is supposed to be a slow time of year for NBA news. A new trade scenario has surfaced that involves some names very familiar to those who have been following the NBA rumor mill this summer.
There has been discussion regarding a three-way trade between Boston, Cleveland, and Philadelphia. The Celtics would acquire Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love, center Nerlens Noel would be dealt to Cleveland, while rookie forward Jaylen Brown would join the 76ers. Additionally, Jonas Jerebko would go to the Cavs and Amir Johnson and Terry Rozier would be sent to Philadelphia.
It has been well-documented that the Cavs and Kevin Love could be headed for a divorce. The team defeated the Golden State Warriors to win the 2016 NBA Championship, but despite Cleveland’s team success, Kevin Love appeared to be an awkward fit in the Cavaliers’ lineup. Trying to find touches for Love in Cleveland’s offense has been a challenge, especially since he needs the ball to be most effective (Love is not an asset on the defensive end).
Nerlens Noel is on the trading block because the Philadelphia 76ers simply have too many centers who are talented and need minutes on the floor. Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor are also on the roster, and at least one of these young big men need to find a new address if the Sixers are to make any progress in 2016-17. Philadelphia suffers from a lack of talent at virtually every other position, so dealing one of their centers for a forward or guard would help balance the roster.
Jaylen Brown was a controversial choice when the Boston Celtics grabbed him with the No. 3 overall selection in the 2016 NBA Draft. However, his performance in the 2016 NBA Summer League opened some eyes, and the perception now is that he may be headed for NBA stardom, as detailed by the Boston Globe.
Brown is certainly not someone the Celtics are looking to trade, but they have reportedly had a long-standing interest in acquiring Kevin Love. If general manager Danny Ainge wants Kevin Love on his team badly enough, he may have to part with his young forward from the University of California.
If this rumored trade proposal is agreed upon, the Cleveland Cavaliers would bring Nerlens Noel into the fold. Noel is an opportunistic scorer, mostly cashing in on put-backs and other easy shots around the rim. His primary value comes at the defensive end of the floor, where he is a solid shot-blocker and overall defensive force.
Noel is also a terrific athlete, which would be a plus as he could be a runner on the fast break and finish plays set up by LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. Overall, Kevin Love is a more accomplished player than Noel, but Noel may be a better fit with so much offensive talent in Cleveland’s lineup — particularly if shooting guard J.R. Smith re-signs with the team before training camp begins, as many expect.
If Kevin Love comes to Boston in this rumored trade, the Celtics would likely move Al Horford to center and play these two together. Boston is fairly deep at center and point guard, so Amir Johnson and Terry Rozier are expendable. It would hurt to jettison a young talent like Jaylen Brown, but he is unproven at this point in his pro career. The Celtics know they would be getting a quality NBA player in Kevin Love, so if Ainge is truly in “win now” mode, this deal makes some sense for Boston.
The Philadelphia 76ers are nowhere near the playoffs at this stage, so shipping Nerlens Noel to Cleveland for a player with great potential like Jaylen Brown also passes the eye test. Brown will probably be a small forward in the NBA, although with his athleticism he might be able to play limited minutes at shooting guard as well. This swap would give the Sixers another building block to move forward with as they attempt to escape the Eastern Conference cellar.
Current NBA trade rumors are indicating that Cleveland, Boston, and Philadelphia could be working on a three-way trade. If this transaction does indeed go through, which team do you think would improve the most as a result of this six-player deal?