The Cleveland Cavaliers’ efforts to trade Kevin Love at some point have been stymied by the fact that potential trading partners are asking for compensation from the Cavs to take the veteran.
Evan Dammerell looked at how Love might conceivably be a key trading target for other teams. However, Dammerell pointed out that the 31-year-old Love’s huge contract, lengthy injury history and age are only a few of the issues that have prevented a deal from being made.
“The other problem is off the court Love has done some damage to his reputation around the league,” Dammerell wrote. “It’s been well chronicled how Love is frustrated with how this season has gone for the Cavaliers. At one time, it felt like the Cavaliers reached the point of no return with their All-Star and a trade felt inevitable, just to bring some tranquility back to the organization. Because of this, along with his hefty extension, teams were leery to trade for Love and were asking Cleveland for compensation for their troubles, per league sources. Obviously, that isn’t doable for the Cavaliers given the fact that they’re only two years into a long term rebuild.”
Love is in the first year of a four-year, $120 million contract extension that he signed in 2018. That remaining expense for an aging player who’s had trouble staying healthy has made other teams reluctant to work a deal.
In addition, Love has made no effort to hide his frustration on the court this season.
Those incidents include angrily throwing the ball to teammates during a game, as well as allegedly being the source of criticism directed at former Cavs head coach John Beilein. The behavior was serious enough that Love ended up offering an apology for his actions.
From a production standpoint, Love has the potential to deliver a double-double in every game. He’s currently averaging 17.7 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game this season.
Yet, with the Cavaliers having the worst record in the Eastern Conference at 14-40, Love is a burdensome luxury for the rebuilding team.
The trade market for Love could improve during the offseason, depending on how teams fare when it comes to free agents. Exactly what the Cavaliers get in return for Love’s services is a mystery that very well could be much less than what the team is expecting.