The Cleveland Cavaliers, who have been playing inconsistent basketball lately, have made an interesting roster move by taking veteran big man Kevin Love out of their rotation.
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) February 6, 2023
This may lead to speculation among fans that perhaps the Cavs are shopping him on the trade market, although this move is more likely happening because he simply hasn’t been playing well.
Love is one of the few veterans on a rather young Cavs team, but so far this season, he is shooting just 38.9 percent overall and 35.4 percent from 3-point range, and he has especially struggled since the start of 2023.
Although he played well during the 2021-22 campaign and made himself a prime candidate for the Sixth Man of the Year, Love has had his struggles over the past few years ever since LeBron James left Cleveland. He has also had some issues with his mental health, which is something that he has been very open about.
Despite an easy 122-103 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, the Cavs are only in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with a 33-22 record, and they have fallen five games behind the Boston Celtics, who have the best record in the NBA.
One of Cleveland’s big bugaboos has been its inability to win on the road. It has a sturdy 22-6 record at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, but it is just 11-16 away from home.
Winning on the road is often a challenge for young teams, even those as talented as the Cavs, and they will need to rectify this problem in order to have a real shot at reaching the NBA Finals, let alone winning it all.
If they were to try to move Love before Thursday’s trade deadline, perhaps his $28.9 million expiring contract would provide some value to another team by giving it salary cap relief this summer.
Cleveland needs help at the wing position, as well as some offensive firepower off the bench, as it has one of the lowest-scoring benches in the NBA.