The Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers are being projected to come up with a swap deal that would involve two of their respective “overpriced” big men. A trade prediction sees former All-Stars Al Horford and Kevin Love in swapped places as their teams attempt to “correct” their faulted frontcourt moves in the past.
According to Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley, the Sixers and Cavs could explore the virtual trade offer considering that Horford and Love do not anymore appear to be fit to their current teams’ formula, particularly in their respective success plans for the next couple of seasons.
“Both the Cavaliers and 76ers have made major frontcourt investments they’d like to have back. Could they help correct the other’s mistake? It’s not ideal for either side, but each probably prefers its hypothetical addition over its current state,” Buckley wrote.
The Sixers are in dire need of floor spacers with their two main offensive options, namely Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, operating mostly by either attacking hard to the basket or carving out space at the post.
Love, who is a knockdown outside shooter, fits perfectly with the job description, not to mention his above-average playmaking skills that would work like a dream whenever guys like Simmons opt to play from the weakside.
“The Sixers are desperate for outside shooting. Kevin Love has 1,223 career three-pointers and a 37.0 percent perimeter connection rate. That’s most of the appeal from Philly’s perspective, although his outlet passing could grow even more potent with an explosive finisher like Ben Simmons on the receiving end of those touchdown throws,” added Buckley, who also stated that the Cavs are “eager to start life after Love.”
The 31-year-old former UCLA standout has been playing in Cleveland for six years now. He won his first NBA championship with the franchise in 2016 along with former superstar teammates LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
But it has not been the same since the dynamic duo left Cleveland as the organization starts shifting to a rebuild mode. And with every lost season passing, and it is becoming more evident that Love is not part of the process.
“(Cleveland) won’t admit as much because that’s not how trade negotiations work. But he had some problematic interactions with the club’s youngsters this season, and everyone in the relationship could probably use a fresh start.”
On the flipside, Horford has failed to make an impression for Philly since signing a four-year deal worth $97 million (with $12 million in bonuses) during the last offseason.
His style of play, however, is deemed as more “complementary” for the youngsters in the Cavs’ lineup.
To make the deal more appealing, Buckley projects that the 13-year veteran could be packaged with 21-year-old Zhaire Smith, who “would become another possible pathway to a prospect.”
Horford has played in 60 games for the Sixers this year and averaged just 12.0 points – his lowest since 2009 – to go along with 6.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists while shooting a career-low 44.2% from the field.