Even though the Cleveland Cavaliers signed power forward Kevin Love to a contract extension last year, the rumor mill is still going strong. One new report indicates that the New Orleans Pelicans and Atlanta Hawks have made inquiries about the veteran.
Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net prominently noted the interest of Pelicans and Hawks, while also indicating that other teams may be in the mix:
Amico also pointed out the comments of Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com, who noted that the presence of former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin is the key reason for the Pelicans’ interest:
“What would a Cavaliers summer be without a Kevin Love rumor? As one NBA source told me, ‘Griff loves Kevin.’ Griff is New Orleans GM David Griffin, the same David Griffin who brought Love to the Cavs in 2014.”
The Pelicans acquired the fourth overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft from the Lakers in the Anthony Davis trade, giving them a commodity that could interest the rebuilding Cavaliers. Acquiring that pick would give the Cavs both the fourth and fifth picks and allow them to pick up a pair of key building blocks for the future.
In the case of the Hawks, they possess three first-round picks: the No. 8, No. 10, and No. 17 overall selections. The opportunity to obtain more lottery picks in exchange for Love might tempt the Cavs, though it’s not certain exactly what the Hawks may be offering.
Should the Cavaliers end up trading Love, they’d have to take back some players to match the veteran’s huge salary that will average $30 million per year over the next four seasons. However, the Cavaliers have previously indicated that they’d be willing to take the bad contracts of other team in order to acquire future assets.
Getting rid of Love would remove a key piece of the Cavs’ lineup and result in some difficult growing pains over the next few years. However, if the price is right, dealing him away may give the team a solid foundation for the future.