With Kyrie Irving and LeBron James gone, the Cleveland Cavaliers officially made Kevin Love the new face of the franchise by giving him a massive contract extension in the last offseason. Keeping Love instead of moving him for young players and future draft assets proved that the Cavaliers are still aiming to contend for the NBA championship title. Unfortunately, the Cavaliers are nothing but huge disappointments since the 2018-19 NBA started.
Kevin Love failed to live up to expectations from a star player, and after four games of playing, the All-Star forward suffered an injury that is expected to keep him out until January. Without their best player, the Cavaliers’ struggle continues, and as of now, they are sitting in the No. 13 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 5-18. After realizing that they don’t have the capability to contend for the NBA championship title this season, the Cavaliers decided to part ways with some of their veterans and focus on the development of their young players.
The Cavaliers recently announced that they are parting ways with J.R. Smith. They also engaged in a trade deal with the Utah Jazz involving Kyle Korver. According to Joe Vardon of The Athletic (h/t Sam Amico of Amico Hoops), Kevin Love was “upset” by the direction the Cavaliers are currently taking. However, Vardon revealed that Love still wants to remain a Cavalier and has no intention to demand a trade when he returns from an injury.
“Love, who is 30 and has missed at least 20 games due to injury in (each of) the last three seasons, wants to play,” Vardon said. “Like the rest of the team’s veterans, he was upset by the turn in direction of the franchise and spent some time away for the first few weeks following surgery, but wants to stay in Cleveland and has not asked for a trade.”
“I really truly believe that everybody is going through something,” Kevin Love said as part of a broad discussion of mental health and sports culture at a New York Times live event https://t.co/iT8DFSWoiG— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 1, 2018
The Cavaliers’ decision to give Kevin Love a massive contract extension didn’t only give them the ability to take full control of him for the next couple of years, but it also makes him a more attractive trade asset. Once he becomes available on the trading block, teams who are in dire need of additional star power will surely make a move just to add him to their team. However, as Vardon noted, the Cavaliers haven’t discussed the idea of trading Love before the February NBA trade deadline.
So far, Kevin Love has already shown a massive improvement in his rehabilitation and he will reportedly begin to ramp out his workouts in another three to four weeks. Despite their interest in acquiring a lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Cavaliers are planning to play him as soon as he returns.