After LeBron James left in free agency, most people expected that the Cleveland Cavaliers would trade Kevin Love to acquire young assets and draft picks that could help them speed up the rebuilding process. However, despite James’ departure in Cleveland, Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman made it clear that they have no intention to tank. Their recent decision to give Love a massive contract extension proves that the Cavaliers still plan to remain competitive next season.
Now that LeBron James and Kyrie Irving are playing for another team, Kevin Love is considered the new face of the Cavaliers’ franchise. The Cavaliers are expected to make Love the centerpiece of the next title-contending team they plan to build. However, according to Fansided’s King James Gospel, the Cavaliers could still decide to take a different route, especially if they fail to become consistent next season.
Giving Kevin Love a contract extension makes him a more attractive trade piece for the Cavaliers. King James Gospel predicted that the Cavaliers do the same thing the Los Angeles Clippers did to Blake Griffin last season.
“Every team wishes to be the Oklahoma City Thunder, where they can convince a player to resign after taking a huge risk on an expiring contract but it’s more likely than not that does not happen. Especially not for Cleveland. The Los Angeles Clippers, and to an extent, the Toronto Raptors, have laid a blueprint for how to extend a player in his prime (or near it) and then use that extension as a tool to flip the player for a lot more than they would have received otherwise.”
Last summer, after Chris Paul demanded a trade to the Houston Rockets, the Clippers gave Blake Griffin a five-year, $171.1 million contract to show they had no plan of undergoing a rebuilding process. However, the 2017-18 NBA season didn’t go as the Clippers expected. Knowing that they have no chance of fully dominating the Western Conference, the Clippers decided to send Griffin to the Detroit Pistons in late January.
The same thing could happen to Kevin Love if the Cavaliers become a huge disappointment next season. Several NBA teams who are dreaming of contending for the NBA championship title will surely express interest in adding Love to their team. In any deal involving the All-Star forward, the Cavaliers could demand a decent young player and a future draft pick in return. However, they may also need to absorb a bad contract for a team to match Love’s lucrative deal.