This Cavaliers-Lakers Trade Is Focused on Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook, Washington Wizards, Boston Celtics, NBA Rumors
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
How This Trade Impacts Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers made a mistake when they signed Kevin Love to an extension following LeBron James’ departure from the team. A rebuild was on the horizon, so inking him to a deal that will pay him nearly $29 million when he is 34 made little sense at the time and looks just as bad now.

The team’s frontcourt is crowded, so there is really no playing time available for Love. Evan Mobley was selected with the third overall pick, Jarrett Allen signed a five-year, $100 million deal and Lauri Markkanen was acquired via sign-and-trade from the Chicago Bulls in a three-team deal that included the Portland Trail Blazers as well.

If he isn’t going to negotiate a buyout with the franchise, this may be the only chance they have to move on from his contract. Russell Westbrook showed last season that he has plenty left in the tank and would help bring this young team closer to a playoff spot than Love would.

Westbrook would give the Cavaliers another veteran leader in the backcourt along with Ricky Rubio to lean on throughout the season. Darius Garland is a solid partner alongside Westbrook as well.

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Parting with Sexton, if they cannot agree on an extension, makes sense as well. Possibly two seasons of Westbrook and moving on from Love are better than possibly losing Sexton for nothing in restricted free agency next offseason.

Bazemore is a one-year deal but will help on the wing, where the Cavaliers are weakest. His 3-point shooting would be welcome with open arms as Cleveland struggled shooting from the perimeter last season.

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