The NBA trade rumors are aimed squarely on Kevin Love, with reports that the Cleveland Cavaliers are following the big shakeup this week of firing their coach with another big move in shipping off Love.
This week the Cavaliers fired David Blatt, with rumors that his spotty relationship with star LeBron James led to his exit. The move was controversial — especially among those miffed that a star player, even one of LeBron’s stature, could get his coach fired — but also a strong signal that the Cavaliers are very concerned about chemistry.
That’s where the NBA trade rumors around Kevin Love again come into play. Since the start of his tenure with the Cavaliers, Love was surrounded by rumors that he didn’t mesh well with teammates. That was certainly true on the playing floor, where Love’s talented offense couldn’t quite make up for his defensive deficiencies.
As Fansided noted, the Kevin Love trade could help the Cavaliers better compete for a title.
“The Cavs need to build a team that can defeat the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs. After all, that’s who they’re going to be facing in the NBA Finals this season. And at the moment, with their win now attitude, the limited offensive usage and poor defense of Love might not cut it. When Golden State run rings around Love like this, you can see why.”
The writing may be on the wall for Kevin Love. Before Blatt was fired this week, there were reports that he had told friends, “It’s either me or Kevin Love.” Blatt had taken a lot of blame for failing to utilize Love’s talent, but even his departure may not be enough to save Love’s tenure in Cleveland.
Even the Cleveland Cavaliers players have been expecting Kevin Love to be traded. There were reports that when the players were called together this week to be told about Blatt’s firing, many believed that they were actually going to be told that Love had been traded.
How surprised were Cavs players today? When team meeting was called, some players speculated Kevin Love had been traded
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) January 22, 2016
— SB Nation (@SBNation) January 23, 2016
The NBA trade rumors surrounding Kevin Love aren’t entirely clear. There’s no consensus on what teams the Cleveland Cavaliers may be talking to, or even what kind of player they are looking for in return.
Basic framework of a Kevin Love-to-the-Pistons trade that Zach Lowe dropped on his podcast… pic.twitter.com/bcorYDtCqY
— Andy Bailey (@AndrewDBailey) January 23, 2016
This isn’t the only trade rumor surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers. League sources say they are shopping around big man Timofey Mozgov, hopefully in return for another piece that will help them better compete with the Warriors and Spurs.
Last week’s blowout loss the the Warriors exposed the Cavs’ defense, showing that Mozgov is a liability against smaller lineups. Mozgov is also suffering from a drop in his play, SportsBlog noted.
“He has only contributed 6 points and 4.3 rebounds on 50% shooting, 9% points less than last season. His PER has dropped from a solid 18.7, to 13.0,” Brad Winter wrote. “He has also seen his remarkably high offensive rating of 117 fall to 104. Mozgov also makes his team 7.6 points worse per 100 possessions when he is on the court, having negative impacts on both offense and defense. Because of all this, coach Blatt has opted for Tristan Thompson in his starting lineup in recent games.”
It may not take long for the NBA trade rumors surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers to come to fruition. The firing of Blatt this week signals a desire to change things up, and that could mean Kevin Love and Timofey Mozgov will find themselves on a new team very soon.
[Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]