Kevin Love has already been the subject of trade talks since the Cleveland Cavaliers were swept out of the NBA Finals by the Golden State Warriors. Immediately following the season, rumors began flying that the Cavaliers would look to trade Love if LeBron James leaves in free agency. While it would make sense for the franchise to do that, it doesn’t sound like that is their intention.
According to a report from ESPN, the Cavaliers would like to keep Love no matter what James decides to do in free agency.
“The Cavaliers are not actively shopping All-Star forward Kevin Love heading into Thursday’s NBA draft, multiple sources told ESPN on Wednesday. Furthermore, regardless of what decision LeBron James makes about his future in Cleveland, the Cavs have interest in keeping Love next season, sources said.”
Trading Love would make sense for the Cavaliers, but so would keeping him. Before being traded to Cleveland, Love was the face of the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was also one of the most dangerous players in the NBA and is capable of getting back close to that form with a bigger role.
During the 2017-18 NBA season with the Cavaliers, Love ended up averaging 17.6 points per game to go along with 9.3 rebounds. He shot 45.8 percent from the floor overall and knocked down 41.5 percent of his three-point attempts. In the playoffs, however, Love did not play very well and only averaged 14.9 points on 39.2 percent shooting.
New story: The Cavs are not actively shopping Kevin Love heading into Thursday’s draft, multiple sources tell ESPN https://t.co/a09Vaf8BMh
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) June 20, 2018
At 29-years-old, Love still has another season on his deal and a player option for a second year. Cleveland will not want to go through a full rebuild if James leaves.
Dan Gilbert has made it clear that he thinks he can build a title contender even without James moving forward, according to a report from Brian Windhorst.
“Dan Gilbert believes that he can build a championship team without LeBron, and I think he is looking forward to trying. I don’t think he necessarily wants it to be next year, but I think Dan Gilbert would like to make a run of it.”
As Cavaliers fans know, the last time Gilbert tried to create a contender without James, things didn’t go so well.
Cleveland will hold the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft this evening. They will make the selection without knowing what James’ plans are for free agency. The franchise is in a difficult spot, but they have the assets to make things work no matter what their superstar decides to do.
Expect to hear plenty of rumors about the Cavaliers this offseason. James may end up returning, but if he doesn’t, don’t expect the Cavaliers to trade Love just to move him.