The Cleveland Cavaliers are in a tough spot heading into the NBA trade deadline. The defending Eastern Conference champions are struggling and are expected to make deals, which could have a significant effect on the franchise not only this season but also in the future. The Cavaliers can make trades to improve their title chances this season, but, on the other hand, the moves that they make could hurt them in the long run, especially if LeBron James decides to bolt next summer.

DeMarcus Cousins to the rescue?

Cleveland is being linked to a trade for New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins.

Bleacher Report floated a possible trade scenario where the Cavs would acquire Cousins from the Pelicans in exchange for Kevin Love and the 2018 first-round pick of the Brooklyn Nets.

Love was named an All-Star again this season after averaging 18.4 points and 9.4 rebounds in his first 45 games. However, the 29-year-old forward is being mentioned in trade rumors after his teammates questioned his commitment during an emotional team meeting, ESPN reported.

Why the Cavs should consider trading Love for Cousins

While Love is having his best season in a Cavaliers uniform, Cleveland should consider moving the former UCLA standout. Aside from getting targeted in a heated team meeting, it is still worth noting that the nine-year veteran remains a liability on the defensive end of the floor.

The Cavaliers are likely willing to deal Love for Cousins, but it might take more than the All-Star forward to convince the Pelicans to trade Cousins. Cousins is arguably the best center in league, averaging 25.4 points and 12.9 rebounds to go along with 1.6 blocks per game this season.

In the floated scenario, the Cavaliers will have to give up the pick from the Nets, which they acquired in the Kyrie Irving trade.

While the pick has made a lot of noise in the past, it could fall outside of the Top 5, which is way lower than the projection during the Irving trade.

While giving up Love and the Brooklyn pick appears costly for the Cavaliers, getting Cousins could give them a distinct advantage over the the Golden State Warriors down low.

LeBron James has dominated the Warriors in their last three NBA Finals meetings, and Cousins could do the same in case the trade goes down before the Feb. 8 deadline.

Cousins will become a free agent next summer, but James has proven before that he can convince teammates to stay if he wants to. Acquiring Cousins could also make James decide to stay put, knowing that he will have the best chance to win a title in Cleveland with Cousins on the team.