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Top 5 NBA Starting Lineups After The Kevin Love Trade

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(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Mark Ralston/AFP)

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Mark Ralston/AFP)

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By Jordan Tracy

Another big move in the NBA has just happened. The Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to send power forward Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for the 2014 first overall pick Andrew Wiggins, the 2013 first overall pick Anthony Bennett and a protected 2015 first round pick.

With the addition of Love, the Cavs have completed their major bolstering of their roster and now only need to add a few pieces before the regular season starts. The Timberwolves receive a young talent to build a team around in Wiggins and a possible revamp for Bennett who didn’t prove he deserved his first overall selection last year. This works for both teams in that the Timberwolves have taken big steps to improve for the future and the Cavs have built a team to contend for a championship now.

With this much anticipated move complete, (unofficially until August 23rd because Wiggins can’t be traded until then), it’s time to start taking a look at what teams will put out on the court for the new campaign. Here is my list of the top five starting lineups after this big trade for Kevin Love…

 

5. Chicago Bulls

chicago bulls Top 5 NBA Starting Lineups After The Kevin Love Trade

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Gary Dineen/NBAE)

PG- Derrick Rose 

SG- Jimmy Butler

SF- Mike Dunleavy

PF- Pau Gasol

C- Joakim Noah

Well, they missed out on Carmelo Anthony and couldn’t trade for Kevin Love. I don’t know what it is, but the Bulls keep missing out on big name players. Regardless, with a healthy Derrick Rose, (fingers crossed), this team can be very dangerous. They have a very deep back court and their defense is impeccable. They were able to add Pau Gasol who definitely still has something left in the tank as well as some new life now that he is back on a playoff contender. He brings championship experience and an ability to score that will help the Bulls do very well in a lackluster Eastern Conference.   

 

4. Los Angeles Clippers

los angeles clippers Top 5 NBA Starting Lineups After The Kevin Love Trade

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Noah Graham/NBAE)

PG- Chris Paul

SG- J.J. Redick

SF- Matt Barnes

PF- Blake Griffin

C- DeAndre Jordan

The Los Angeles Clippers, the home of “Lob City”, is a high flying team led by a great head coach in Doc Rivers. They have been contenders the last three seasons and will look to get past the Western Conference Semifinals and into the Finals and beyond. Paul is arguably the best point guard in the league with a powerful back court with Griffin and Jordan slamming their way through the Western Conference. The Conference is loaded with talented teams so it will be difficult to come out on top, but they have a talented team that can definitely compete.  

 

3. Oklahoma City Thunder

oklahoma city thunder Top 5 NBA Starting Lineups After The Kevin Love Trade

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Noah Graham/NBAE)

PG- Russell Westbrook

SG- Reggie Jackson

SF- Kevin Durant

PF- Serge Ibaka

C- Kendrick Perkins

You can’t exactly call the trio of Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka a “Big Three” but they are a formidable bunch that has proven to be great together. The combination of Durant and Westbrook is one of the best in the NBA and Ibaka’s defense makes this team a little more well rounded. They are still hurting from the loss of James Harden at an offensive stand point, (there isn’t much to miss about Harden’s defense….if it even exists), but I am of the opinion that Ibaka’s defense gives more balance to the starting lineup and I didn’t think there was enough possession to go around with a Durant, Harden and Westbrook trio. When everyone’s healthy, this is a championship contending team who has to hope that the Spurs’ age will finally kick in to hurt them so that the Thunder can get a chance at the crown. They have to do it quick or else the band might split up with Durant to Washington rumors swirling.

 

2. San Antonio Spurs

san antonio spurs Top 5 NBA Starting Lineups After The Kevin Love Trade

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Andy Lyons)

PG- Tony Parker

SG- Danny Green

SF- Kawhi Leonard

PF- Tim Duncan

C- Tiago Splitter

Let’s hear it for the old guys! The Spurs’ dominance in the Western Conference is remarkable. Naysayers are consistently knocking the Spurs for their age, at some point they’ll be right, but they continue to prove them wrong. Anchored by future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan, the Spurs should continue their dominance again this year. Kawhi Leonard has emerged as a star, Danny Green is a three point machine and the Spurs’ “Big Three’ of Parker, Duncan and Ginobili (who doesn’t start but is still an essential piece) have emerged to be the most dominant of this era of the NBA. They are the most well-rounded team in the NBA and are led by the legendary Greg Popovich. What more can you ask for? Don’t you dare say age. 

 

1. Cleveland Cavaliers

cleveland cavaliers Top 5 NBA Starting Lineups After The Kevin Love Trade

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE)

PG- Kyrie Irving

SG- Dion Waiters

SF- LeBron James

PF- Kevin Love

C- Anderson Varejao

Spurs fans will hate me and I understand. It’s hard to put another team in front of the defending champions. But this is a new year and looking forward you can’t deny the star studded lineup that the Cleveland Cavaliers are putting out this upcoming season. The combination of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love will be a near unstoppable force in the Eastern Conference and the NBA as a whole. James is the best player in the NBA and he will be working with a budding star in Irving and an established all-star that has hungered for a contender in Kevin Love. The city of Cleveland is hungry for a champion and James has to fulfill his heroic perception whether he guarantees a championship or not. Cleveland expects one, the world expects one and Love……well…..he’ll just be happy if he gets to play in a playoff game at this point.

Honorable Mention: Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Washington Wizards, Portland Trail Blazers.   

 

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