Kevin Love’s tenure with the Cleveland Cavaliers may be over after just two seasons. The much-maligned power forward has not exactly endeared himself to Cavaliers’ fans. Therefore, Love could be out in Cleveland regardless if the Cavaliers win the NBA championship or not.
According to NESN, the Cavaliers are set to auction off Kevin Love to the highest bidder at the close of the NBA Finals. Whichever team agrees to a trade for Love will have to assume the remainder of his contract. Kevin Love is finishing up the first year of a five-year deal worth more than $113 million. So the team that takes him will have the huge burden of paying his ginormous contract, which will have at least $90 million left on it.
Trading Kevin Love will not be an easy task for the Cleveland Cavaliers. They will have to either find a team with a player, or players who have a similar salary. If not, they will have to find a team that is under the cap which have a need for a player who can produce.
Thus far Kevin Love has done nothing to increase his trade value. His concussion after Game 2 of the NBA Finals may have limited the things he does well, such as rebounding, but prior to the injury, Love has often played uneven.
The problem with Kevin Love is that he is a terrible fit with the Cavaliers. Most importantly, Love is a terrible fit with LeBron James. There are several situations where Kevin Love has tried to fit in with his Cleveland teammates, only to be iced out by James and the others.
No time is most interesting than during Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Kevin Love was trying to celebrate with the Cavaliers’ bench by giving LeBron James a high five. Kevin Love was fussed at for his troubles.
— SI NBA (@si_nba) June 14, 2016
Kevin Love and the Cleveland Cavaliers need to go their separate ways. It would be what is best for each party and best for business.
According to SB Nation, nine teams are listed as legitimate destinations for Love. The two teams that receive the most mention for Kevin Love are the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks. Each team fits the description for the type franchise who can withstand a Kevin Love trade.
In Boston, there is a Celtics’ team which has made the NBA Playoffs in two consecutive seasons. What they need is another go-to scorer, a player that is considered a star. Ideally, the Celtics would want a top-tier or second-tier star. Chicago Bulls’ guard Jimmy Butler, who fits the latter, is the player the Celtics covet. They are willing to part with the No. 3 pick in order to get him.
The Cavaliers should proooooobably trade Kevin Love this summer, but to whom? https://t.co/pwU2ikzJ1g
— SB Nation (@SBNation) June 10, 2016
The Celtics see Jimmy Butler as a player on the cusp of top-tier status. Kevin Love was once looked at in the same light. Playing for the Cavaliers has exposed him considerably. Love would be a solid fallback option, but only if Boston wants to run a conventional NBA offense. They are going to want to run and defend well. That may eliminate them from dealing for Kevin Love.
As much as LeBron may not want to admit this, he would rather play with his NBA friends than against them. Of all James’ friends, Carmelo Anthony may be the only one who is available. The question is, would the New York Knicks make a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers?
A Kevin Love for Carmelo Anthony swap is actually an even trade. Throw out the names of each player and look into the situation that each of them is faced with.
Kevin Love, as previously mentioned, is in a no-win situation with the Cavaliers. The Cavaliers want to be a running team with athletes surrounded by spot-up shooting. Love is a shooter, although not a catch-and-shoot player which the Cavaliers want him to be. Instead, Love is a shooter in the mold of Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki.
Kevin Love has to feel a part of the offense in order to be successful. With the Cavaliers, the ball is dominated either by LeBron James or guard Kyrie Irving. Kevin Love is just a wallpaper on the Cavaliers under this arrangement.
And in New York, Carmelo Anthony is stuck on a team looking to begin stage two of a rebuilding process. By the time the Knicks are competing for NBA titles, Anthony will be 35 years-old. He wants to win at least one championship before he retires.
He is still putting up strong numbers of 21.8 points and 7.7 rebounds, and it looks great on paper. It would fit well in Cleveland, where LeBron James can ease up on the heavy lifting.
Again, would the Knicks be willing to talk trade with the Cavaliers? It will boil down to what is more important to the Knicks. A lot of the time the Knicks think box office, over winning. Not that trading for Kevin Love gets them a step closer, but it beats having a player who has become numb to losing in Carmelo Anthony. This would be the most interesting trade to make. The Cleveland Cavaliers could throw in a draft pick to make it work.
The NBA Finals is coming to a close soon and all of the talk will swing over to which player is on the move. Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers is one of those players. The Cavaliers trading Love would be the best thing for both parties to do.
[Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]