The NBA trade rumors surrounding Kevin Love may have just shifted, with the Cleveland Cavaliers possibly going back on plans to send away their high-scoring big man.
The Cavaliers were rumored to be seeking a trade for Love, who has struggled at times, especially on defense. The entire team’s defensive shortcomings were on display in a blowout loss to the Golden State Warriors last week, adding fuel to the rumors that Love might be shipped away.
But now the Cavaliers appear to be backing off those plans. In an interview with ESPN 850-AM, general manager David Griffin said the team’s best chance of winning a title is with Kevin Love on the roster.
“You’d have to go a long way to convince me that we’re a better team winning in the Finals without a player like Kevin on our team,” Griffin told ESPN 850-AM in Cleveland. “We’ve never once put together an offer involving Kevin, nor have we taken a call on an offer for Kevin.
“We think very highly of Kevin, and we believe Kevin thinks very highly of this situation…. But I can also tell you that we have been very clear from the beginning that there’s no such thing as untouchables.”
Griffin added that the team may instead make some peripheral moves to make the team better rather than a blockbuster like trading Kevin Love.
“You’re either all the way in or all the way out in this process, and we believe our guys are all the way in. If it remains that way, then we are going to try and augment the group at the bottom and try to get some additional depth, and that’s what we’ll do. We’re not going to be afraid to do what needs to be done if something more significant comes along.”
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 26, 2016
The NBA trade rumors had been surrounding Kevin Love for weeks — even months — with the Cavaliers reportedly looking to flip him in exchange for some pieces that can help them better compete with the Western Conference powerhouses San Antonio and Golden State.
But the team’s coaching change may have changed that. The Cavaliers fired David Blatt last week and replaced him with Tyronn Lue. ESPN‘s Joe Kasier believes Love will thrive more under Lue, who can bring Love back inside the three-point line more often where his low post scoring and passing touch will better help the team.
— ESPN Fantasy Sports (@ESPNFantasy) January 25, 2016
Others think there is nothing that can save Kevin Love from the trade block. Matt Moore of CBS Sports noted that the Cavaliers still have to make some major changes if they want to compete for a title, and trading Kevin Love could be one of those moves.
“The Cavaliers are serious about winning a title, and the humiliating loss to the Warriors seems to have shown them how far they are from that goal,” he wrote. “If things don’t turn around under Lue, and fast, it can no longer be considered a surprise if the Cavaliers trade Love, even if there have yet to be any reports of substantive talks between the Cavs and a prospective target.”
If the NBA trade rumors surrounding Kevin Love turn out to be true, the Cleveland Cavaliers may have a lot of options. There are reportedly a handful of teams interested in making a deal if he is still on the block, including the Boston Celtics who have an interesting combination of draft picks and young talent they could use to seal the deal.
[Picture by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]