From the time LeBron James left in the summer of 2018, rumors have been continuously swirling around All-Star power forward Kevin Love and his future with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Love may be under contract with the team until the 2022-23 NBA season and is currently considered as the face of the franchise, but many already see him as an odd fit with the current rebuild occurring in Cleveland. Unfortunately, though he’s one of the top trade candidates in the 2019-20 NBA season, the 2020 February NBA trade deadline passed, and Love is still on the Cavaliers’ roster.
According to a former NBA general manager who spoke to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, Love and his agent, Jeffrey Schwartz, knew a deal couldn’t be made before the trade deadline. However, Love and Schwartz still haven’t given up hope that the forward would be able to leave the Cavaliers. The two are reportedly going to “push” for a trade again over the summer.
“Kevin and [agent] Jeff [Schwartz] wanted a trade, but I think both knew it probably wasn’t going to happen,” the former GM said. “It’s something they’ll push for again in the summer. I think he’ll be traded this summer since the free-agent market is so bare and the draft doesn’t look like anything special. Teams need to add talent somehow.”
It won’t really be a surprise if Love decides to demand a trade from the Cavaliers once again this summer. The team’s recent acquisition of All-Star center Andre Drummond may be a sign of Cleveland’s commitment to building a competitive roster around Love, but based on their performance after the trade deadline, they still seem far away from being able to be a title contender in the Eastern Conference. The power forward’s departure from the Cavaliers may also be inevitable due to Drummond’s contract, which contains a player option that will enable the center to become an unrestricted free agent during the summer.
If Drummond chooses to opt-out and go elsewhere, it would no longer make sense for Love to stay in Cleveland. Once he becomes officially available on the trade market, several NBA teams who are in dire need of additional star power and frontcourt boost are expected to express a strong interest in adding Love to their roster. As Swartz noted, some potential suitors for the All-Star include the Portland Trail Blazers, the Phoenix Suns, and the Philadelphia 76ers. The best-case scenario for the Cavaliers in a potential deal involving Love is to acquire a trade package that includes an expiring contract, a young player, and a future draft pick.