“Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love is ‘undoubtedly’ a name to watch ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline, with several rival teams expressing interest in Love’s expiring contract, a league source told Hoops Wire,” wrote Sam Amico.
Love hasn’t appeared in a game for the Cavs since Jan. 24, and it looks as though his time with the franchise might be coming to a close.
The five-time All-Star has been with Cleveland since 2014, as the team acquired him to be part of a star trio alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. Their time together was successful, as they all played big roles in the franchise’s first NBA title back in 2016.
While James and Irving both wound up leaving the Cavaliers, Love stuck around and toughed it out as the team endured a grueling rebuild.
Plenty of people wanted him traded during the early parts of the rebuild, as he had a huge salary, but he eventually became a key contributor once again last season, when the Cavs shocked many by making it to the play-in tournament.
His play has regressed a bit this season, but he’s still recording 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in 20.0 minutes per game. The two-time All-NBA player could be useful to a team that is looking for a veteran leader in the locker room or a squad that just wants to get its hands on an expiring contract.
Although there seems to be some interest in Love, the Cavs have a lot of things to consider here, as they would have to get back lots of salary to match Love’s deal.
“Several opposing GMs told Hoops Wire via text that there is interest in Love, who has fallen out of coach J.B. Bickerstaff‘s rotation,” Amico continued.
“Trading Love, though, may not be on the Cavs’ radar, as they would have to take back salary in such a deal, sources cautioned. Also, while Love isn’t playing at the moment, there has been ‘zero’ discussion of a potential contract buyout following the deadline, one source said.”
If they are unable to find a deal they like before the deadline, the Cavs might as well just keep Love around. After all, he has plenty of playoff experience and would surely help guide the team’s youngsters down the stretch.
Many of the current Cavs players have little to no playoff experience. On the other hand, Love has played in 63 playoff games.
Cleveland is currently fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 33-22 record, but it has been pretty inconsistent all season long. It will need to work on that if it really wants to make some noise in the playoffs this season.