Despite the rampant rumors suggesting that Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love will be dealt before the February 6 trade deadline, a new report suggests that many rival teams don’t see much benefit in acquiring him in the coming weeks.
On Tuesday, David Aldridge of The Athletic cited an unnamed Western Conference executive, who reportedly said that he doesn’t think Love has “a lot of value” in the trade market at the moment, due to concerns regarding his lucrative contract and his recent injury history, per Bleacher Report. As further cited, the executive believes that the Cavaliers might need to give up a number of future draft picks — including a first-round pick or “multiple” second-rounders — in order to sweeten the deal to the point where it’s attractive enough for other teams.
According to Bleacher Report, the 31-year-old Love is still capable of putting up solid numbers, as he is currently averaging 17 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 2.9 assists and shooting 37.5 percent from three-point range for the Cavaliers, who are in 13th place in the Eastern Conference with a 12-29 record. But aside from his contract — which will pay him about $91.5 million over the next three years — and his health, the outlet noted that the veteran power forward’s lackluster defense may be an “obvious” concern for potential suitors, especially those that are gunning for a playoff spot.
“Opposing coaches would look to attack the 6’8″ forward throughout a postseason series and have ample time to draw up a game plan that does exactly that,” Bleacher Report added.
Kevin Love apologized for his recent "childish" outbursts. pic.twitter.com/ARpP6S8ufM
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) January 7, 2020
Regarding Love’s injury history, it was pointed out that his back issues are severe enough to force the Cavaliers to rest him for one to two games on occasion, despite being relatively healthy in the 2019-20 season. Over the past three years, the former No. 5 overall draft pick out of UCLA has missed a total of 105 games.
Although there are several concerns that might make Love a risky pre-trade deadline acquisition, Bleacher Report noted that the big man has reportedly been unhappy with the Cavaliers since the start of the new year. Earlier this month, it was alleged that Love had an “emotional verbal outburst” over the state of the team toward general manager Koby Altman, and later expressed frustration with Cavs head coach John Beilein as Cleveland lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder on January 4.
So far, there have been a few teams that are believed to be among the top candidates to acquire Love via trade before the February deadline, including his hometown Portland Trail Blazers and, as reported on Tuesday by The Inquisitr, the Phoenix Suns.