Kevin Love Trade Rumors: Cleveland Cavaliers To Make Love Scapegoat If Team Gets Swept In NBA Finals?

Kevin Love trade rumors suggest the Cleveland Cavaliers could blame a sweep at the NBA Finals on the All-Star power forward. ESPN analyst Chris B Haynes and television show host Dan Patrick discussed the possibility late Wednesday (June 7) on the Dan Patrick Show, revisiting a storyline that surfaced during the 2016 NBA Finals as well. When the Cavs trailed the Golden State Warriors 2-0 last year, these very same Kevin Love trade rumors popped up, and he has become an easy scapegoat for the team when it loses.

So why would the Cavaliers consider trading Love? The answer is that it is already something the front office has considered in the past, entering into negotiations to try to improve the roster by dealing the big man. Nothing was ever finalized, with Cavs general manager David Griffin ultimately deciding the roster was better with Love on it. It’s definitely possible that the situation is fluid, though, especially if the Cavs are unable to squeeze out a single victory against the Warriors during the 2017 NBA Finals.

Blaming the 3-0 deficit on Kevin Love is about as unfair as it can get in the basketball world. In 16 playoff games this season, Love is averaging 17.1 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. He is shooting 44 percent from three-point range and 86.6 percent from the free throw line, posting numbers that anyone in the NBA could be pleased to have on their stat lines.

It’s important to point out that in a pivotal Game 3 at home, Love struggled from the field, hitting on just 1-of-9 shots and finishing with only nine points. The prior nights, though, he had 15 points and 21 rebounds in Game 1 and then 27 points and seven rebounds in Game 2. In addition to the nine points Love had in Game 3, he also posted 13 rebounds and six steals, showing how important he was in other facets of the game. Blaming the loss on him would be a reach by any statistical standard.

So how realistic is a Kevin Love trade by the Cleveland Cavaliers? It all comes down to how David Griffin and LeBron James feel that the roster should look for the 2017-18 NBA season. The reality is that James has most of the power because management is going to do everything possible to make sure that he stays happy and doesn’t even consider pulling a “Kevin Durant” when he next gets that opportunity. Could that mean working hard to sign Chris Paul? Maybe the team could convince a starting center to sign for the minimum?

Kevin Love’s contract calls for him to make roughly $22.7 million next year and about $24.1 million the following season. Love then has a player option worth about $25.6 million for the 2019-20 NBA season. This means he has at least two more guaranteed seasons under this deal, bringing with it a lot of stability if another team did decide to trade for Love. That adds a lot of value to him in any trade, so it gives the Cleveland Cavaliers the perfect asset to enter the offseason.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have just over $125 million in committed salaries for the 2017-18 NBA season already, and that doesn’t even include pending free agents Kyle Korver, Derrick Williams, and Deron Williams. The team will have to add more players to the second unit even if they don’t succumb to the Kevin Love trade rumors, so there is a lot of work to do to keep up with the Golden State Warriors during the offseason.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Cavs have been linked to the Carmelo Anthony trade rumors again, suggesting that the team could be interested in adding him as the starting small forward for next year. New York Knicks team president Phil Jackson is keen on making a deal before the 2017 NBA Draft, but would he take a package of anything less than Love from Cleveland? It’s a question that will come up again if the Golden State Warriors sweep the Cavs and an avenue that gets explored as more Kevin Love trade rumors are expected to surface.

[Featured Image by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images]