NBA Rumors: Suns Emerging As ‘Wild Card’ Destination For Kevin Love Before February Trade Deadline

Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts to a first half basket while playing the Detroit Pistons.
Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

Though he’s under contract until the 2022-23 NBA season and is currently considered as the face of the franchise, rumors still continue to swirl around All-Star power forward Kevin Love and his future with the Cleveland Cavaliers. No matter how many times they insist he is part of their long-term plan, most people still see Love as an odd fit with the rebuilding Cavaliers. In the past months, several NBA teams have been rumored to be interested in acquiring the power forward before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline, including the Phoenix Suns.

According to Zach Lowe of ESPN, there is currently a “very little market” for Love, but if the Cavaliers are determined to unload him before the trade deadline, the Suns are considered to be his “wild card” destination.

“The wild card was always Phoenix. The Suns are hard to predict. Rivals struggle to get a feel for the Suns’ objectives. They are four games out of the No. 8 spot, and Robert Sarver, their owner, has made no secret over the past few years of his ardent desire to snap their streak of postseason absences. They have Tyler Johnson’s $19 million expiring contract, all of their own first-round picks, and a bundle of $3 million-$6 million contracts to use as filler. Playing time patterns suggest they do not conceive of Dario Saric as their long-term starting power forward.”

It’s easy to understand why the Suns would be interested in adding Love to their roster. The Suns entered the 2019-20 NBA season with the hope of ending their nine-year playoff drought. However, after a strong start, they have failed to become consistent with their performance on both ends of the floor and are currently out of the playoff race. Acquiring a player of Love’s caliber before the trade deadline could help them keep their postseason hopes alive.

Love may not be as dominant as LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, or Paul George, but he would still be an incredible addition to Phoenix, giving them an All-Star caliber big man who is capable of efficiently knocking downs shots from beyond the arc. This season, the 31-year-old power forward is averaging 17.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 3.0 assists while shooting 45.7 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from beyond the arc. What makes him a more intriguing acquisition for the Suns is his ability to co-exist with other NBA superstars.

With the years he spent alongside James and Kyrie Irving in Cleveland, Love won’t have a hard time making himself fit in as Devin Booker’s sidekick in Phoenix. As of now, it remains unknown if there is an ongoing trade negotiation between the Suns and the Cavaliers involving Love. But if there is, Lowe believes the Suns could offer a trade package that will include Tyler Johnson’s expiring contract and future draft picks.