When LeBron James left his former team during the recent free agency, the Cleveland Cavaliers made Kevin Love the new face of the franchise by giving him a massive contract extension. The Cavaliers have a strong belief that Love could help them remain competitive in the weak Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, as of now, the 30-year-old center slash power forward has failed to live up to expectations.
The Cavaliers have lost their first three games in the 2018-19 NBA season, including a 133-111 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night at the Quicken Loans Arena. Despite averaging a double-double, 20.7 points and 14.3 rebounds, Kevin Love is only shooting 30.4 percent from the field and 26.3 percent from beyond the arc. If the Cavaliers will keep struggling, Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post believes that Cleveland could finally decide to make Love available on the market before the February NBA trade deadline.
“Keep an eye on Kevin Love as the potential first major trade chip to be moved in the non-Jimmy Butler category. Yes, Love signed a long-term extension with Cleveland this summer. But as Blake Griffin showed last year, that just means he could be more attractive to another team as a trade chip.”
— Scott Suttell (@ssuttell) October 22, 2018
Should they find themselves out of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference, the Cavaliers may consider trading Kevin Love in order to undergo a full-scale rebuild. According to Sam Amico of Amico Hoops, one of the NBA teams who could express a strong interest in acquiring Love is the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Oh, that’s easy. Everyone knows LeBron James will soon run out of patience with his younger Los Angeles Lakers teammates. Everyone knows LeBron knows and likes Love, and Love clearly misses LeBron. The Lakers undoubtedly have Love in the back of their minds, if not the front.”
Like Kevin Love and the Cavaliers, LeBron James is yet to get his first win in the 2018-19 NBA season. With their current performance, it is crystal clear that the Lakers need another superstar to make a huge impact in the deep Western Conference. If the Cavaliers make Love available on the trading block, James could push the Lakers to make a move.
In their four years of play together in Cleveland, Love had made a huge adjustment in his game to become an efficient sidekick to James. Having a plethora of young players and future draft picks, the Lakers will be an ideal trade partner for the Cavaliers in any potential deal involving Love. However, it remains questionable if the Lakers are willing to give up the likes of Brandon Ingram or Kyle Kuzma for a player of Love’s caliber.