All-Star power forward Kevin Love became the center of trade rumors when LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Los Angeles Lakers in the last free agency. The Cavaliers tried to stop the rumors by giving Love a massive contract extension, but the speculations about his potential departure from Cleveland still continue to circulate around the league. The February NBA trade deadline may have passed with Love remaining in Cleveland but most people expected him to once again become one of the hottest commodities on the trade market in the 2019 NBA offseason.
Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com believes that Kevin Love will be targeted by NBA teams who want to boost their chance of contending for the NBA championship title in the 2019-20 NBA season, but he also thinks that the Cavaliers are in no rush to part ways with the face of the franchise. If title contenders are the only ones approaching the Cavaliers next summer, it remains unknown if a deal will materialize, especially knowing that those NBA teams may not have what Cleveland wants for Love which is a high draft pick.
Also, despite suffering a disappointing 2018-19 NBA season, Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman still speaks highly of Kevin Love. Aside from his on-court performance, Altman believes that Love’s presence on the team helps speed up the development of their young players.
“Altman explained how Love often was double-teamed by opposing defenses, setting up teammates for open shots. Love is a excellent passer, who keeps the ball moving. The Cavs not only will win more games with Love on the court, the younger players tend to perform better – the second point being very important to Altman. They also appreciate Love’s upbeat attitude with his teammates, and his wanting to stay in Cleveland. He approached the Cavs about an extension after LeBron James left for the Lakers in the summer of 2017.”
— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) February 24, 2019
Kevin Love may remain as a Cavalier for another season, but Pluto believes that Cleveland will consider trading some of their players in the 2019 NBA offseason. Some of the potential trade candidates for the Cavaliers, including J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson. According to a previous Inquisitr article, the Cavaliers are already receiving some trade calls for Smith. Smith and his partially guaranteed contract for the 2019-20 NBA season will be valuable to teams who are eyeing to unload bad contracts next summer.
Meanwhile, as Pluto noted, trading Tristan Thompson makes a lot of sense for the Cavaliers, especially with the emergence of young big men like Larry Nance Jr. and Ante Zizi in Cleveland. Aside from Smith and Thompson, Pluto suggested that the Cavaliers may also explore trading Matthew Dellavedova, John Henson, Jordan Clarkson, and Brandon Knight next summer.