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Stephen A. Smith wouldn’t be surprised by Lakers trade

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith says he wouldn’t be surprised if the Los Angeles Lakers make a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers which brings All-Star power forward Kevin Love to Los Angeles.

The Cavs signed Love to a four-year, $120 million extension this offseason, meaning the franchise will now pay Love roughly $145 million over the next five seasons. As a reminder, the Cavs can’t trade Love until six months after the date he signed his extension. Love signed his new deal on July 24.

As Smith notes, Love played his college ball at UCLA and trains in the L.A. area during the summer. There’s also the fact that Love’s former teammate, LeBron James, is now on the Lakers. Love and James were teammates for four seasons in Cleveland and went to four-straight Finals. The duo, along with Kyrie Irving, helped the Cavs win its first title in franchise history in 2016, becoming the first team in NBA history to erase a 3-1 series deficit in the Finals.

Love, 30, averaged 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game during the regular season in 2017-18. He shot 45.8 percent from the field, 41.5 percent from beyond the arc, and 88.0 percent from the free-throw line. In 21 games in the 2018 postseason, Love posted 14.9 points and 10.2 rebounds, hitting 39.2 percent of his shots overall and 34.0 percent from 3-point land. Love and the Cavs made it to the Finals once again, but were swept by the Golden State Warriors.

If the Cavs and Lakers were to make this trade, it’s hard to pinpoint which players Los Angeles would give up for Love. Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma have bright futures, and it wouldn’t make sense to move either of them for Love, who has a history of injuries.

The Cavs already have their point guard of the future in Collin Sexton, so they likely won’t have interest in Lonzo Ball or Josh Hart. Maybe Smith is just trying to stir the pot, because even though Love is a high-level player and would make the Lakers better, there doesn’t appear to be a potential move that makes sense.

Terry Rozier, Celtics



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