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Houston Rockets: Evaluating 5 theoretical trades for the 2021 season

Houston Rockets P.J. Tucker Russell Westbrook Robert Covington Danuel House (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets P.J. Tucker Russell Westbrook Robert Covington Danuel House (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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3 of 6
Houston Rockets
Kevin Love (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Realism: This trade probably leans on the side of unrealistic, as the Cavaliers would likely want more than this. Perhaps a first-round pick would get the deal done, but that would require the Rockets putting quite a bit of faith in Kevin Love being more productive than both Eric Gordon and Robert Covington.

Still, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love have a friendly relationship, and the Rockets have wanted Love in the past. The team could also decide that their goals lie in obtaining a third piece to add to Harden and Russ. You can’t rule out this trade or a similar one, even if it is unlikely.

The Cavaliers have had Kevin Love for a while, have been on the outskirts of relevance since LeBron James departed, and could very well be willing to acquire some assets for Love. As possible as it is for this trade to be unfavorable for both teams, it could also take on the opposite appearance for each.

Grade: To avoid pulling punches, this trade would be a borderline disaster. While his size and statistics of 17.6 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, 45 percent field-goal percentage, and 37.4 percent shooting from deep look pretty, there are several caveats.

Firstly, Kevin Love is 32 years old, and his earnings over the next few years will be around the low 30s in millions per year. Considering the Rockets already have two players making around 40 million a year for the near future, this move would make for three players alone taking up quite a bit of the team salary.

This is without mentioning that Kevin Love is injury prone and is considered a liability defensively at times. The Rockets need all the defense they can get considering the variability of their offense, so a move that involves an elite defender like Covington going out and a poor defender coming in is not one the team wants to make.

Simply put, Kevin Love does not have the consistency in health nor the upside to justify losing both Gordon and Covington, especially if a pick is involved. That is just the on-court effect. His hefty contract is another matter entirely that makes this trade unwise on the part of Houston.

This trade is no higher than a D+.

Next: Trade No. 3

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