While it is still possible that Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love could be traded before tomorrow’s NBA trade deadline, rumors are heating up regarding his long-term future with the team. Love’s name has been a hot topic over the past few months regarding various trade rumors, but the team has been reluctant to admit that they are shopping him. Regardless, the Cavaliers have not yet received an offer that they believe is fair for a player of Love’s caliber, so it appears as though he may remain with the team until the end of the season.
As reported by Cavs Nation, the Cavaliers are still not sold on Love as a long-term piece of their team at the money he is making. While he is averaging a solid 15.7 points per game, 10.3 rebounds per game, and 2.4 assists per game, his numbers have declined considerably since being traded to Cleveland.
Since he is now playing with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, a slight drop in numbers was to be expected, but Love appears to be a bad fit with the current makeup of the Cavaliers. As ESPN notes, the Cavaliers are still looking for another star in return in a possible love deal.
“But league sources say that the Cavs have made it clear to interested teams — starting, of course, with the Love-hungry Boston Celtics — that they’d covet a star in return if or when they do reach the point of letting Love go… and not a package of draft picks and role players like the Celtics are offering. Despite his past and recent shoulder woes, Love holds extensive value not only because of his history of production but also because he still has three guaranteed seasons left on his current contract. But some rival executives increasingly believe that given the Cavs’ expectations in such a trade and the complexity of moving a star in midseason, it’s more likely that Cleveland seriously considers Love pitches in June or July, after it sees how the postseason plays out as well as what new coach Tyronn Lue gets out of the former All-Star in the playoffs.”
While some interesting packages have apparently been offered to the Cavaliers, all of them involved draft picks, young and unproven players, and average NBA talent. Some of the rumored packages were actually solid, but the team is looking to win now. With LeBron James turning 32-years-old in December, the Cavaliers’ window for a championship is shrinking every single year.
While James is still one of the best players in the league, he is starting to lose some of his athleticism every single year. That is actually the reason the Cavaliers traded Andrew Wiggins in a deal that brought them back Kevin Love. Wiggins was one of the top young prospects in the league at the time, but the team was willing to trade his potential for a player who could help them win immediately.
Since it appears as though the Cavaliers are not going to be offered another legitimate star for Love, it is unlikely that they move him by tomorrow. And that is probably the smartest move for the team. Kevin Love missed most of the playoffs last year, so it is really unknown how he will play in the postseason. New head coach Tyronn Lue is also early in his tenure with the team, so he wants to see if he can get more out of love than former head coach David Blatt did.
If the Cavaliers have success in the playoffs this year and Love contributes, the team could decide to hold onto him long-term. If the Cavaliers fail in the playoffs and do not win a championship, they will have more flexibility to trade him over the summer. And even if the team does not win a championship, Love could still play well enough to be included in the Cavaliers’ long-term plans.
If Love wants to remain with the team, he is going to have to turn things around rather quickly. While he is putting up decent numbers, he is still not a great fit in the eyes of Cavaliers’ executives and ownership. In all likelihood, the team does not win a championship this year and Love is once again on the trading block in the summer.
NBA trade rumors will continue to include Kevin Love as tomorrow’s 3 p.m. deadline approaches. While the Cleveland Cavaliers may not move their expensive forward by tomorrow, he could very well be traded in the summer.
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