From the time LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers again in the summer of 2018, rumors have been continuously swirling around All-Star power forward Kevin Love and his future with the team. No matter what the Cavaliers do to stop the trade speculations surrounding him, most people believe that Love’s departure from Cleveland is inevitable. Instead of trying to return to the Eastern Conference Playoffs without a clear path to title contention, the Cavaliers are better off focusing on the development of their young players.
When the 2019-20 NBA season is officially over, the Cavaliers should strongly consider trading Love for assets that could help them speed up the rebuilding process. However, in order to find a team who would be willing to absorb his massive contract, the Cavaliers should lower their asking price for Love.
If they are serious about moving Love in the offseason, Dan Favale of Bleacher Report believes that the Cavaliers should accept a trade package that includes a “long-term cap relief” and a “small-time asset.”
“Moving him feels unavoidable. That’s not to be confused with easy. Love has three years and $91.5 million left on his contract. Teams won’t be knocking down the door to take on that money while also giving up value in return. The Cavaliers will have to adjust their expectations accordingly. They turned down an expiring contracts-for-Love offer from the Portland Trail Blazers before February’s deadline, according to The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd. Perhaps they’ll find a more desperate suitor over the offseason, but long-term cap relief and a small-time asset is probably the best they’re going to do.”
As much they want to get a substantial return for Love, the Cavaliers are not currently in a position to make such a demand. Aside from his lucrative deal that runs until the 2022-23 season, Love has already shown a decline in his performance and has failed to remain healthy since taking over as the new face of the franchise.
Once the Cavaliers stop making unreasonable demands for Love, several teams could take the risk of adding him to their roster this summer. According to Favale, some of the teams to watch in the potential trade involving Love include the Phoenix Suns, the San Antonio Spurs, and the Portland Trail Blazers. Though acquiring him won’t make them an instant title contender in the league, acquiring a player like Love would make the Suns, Spurs, and Trail Blazers a more competitive team in the 2020-21 season.