Since the departure of LeBron James in the summer of 2018, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been informing everyone in the league that they have no intention of undergoing a full-scale rebuild. Despite losing the best basketball player on the planet, the Cavaliers expressed strong confidence that they could build a roster around Kevin Love that could legitimately contend for the NBA championship title. Unfortunately, in the first two seasons with Love as the face of the franchise, the Cavaliers have been a huge disappointment to fans.
With the Cavaliers expected to be a lottery team once again in the 2019-20 NBA season, it is becoming more clear what path they should be taking right now. No matter how many times they insist that they intend to keep him long term in Cleveland, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report believes that a split between Love and the Cavaliers is “inevitable.” If they finally decide to undergo a rebuilding process, Swartz predicts the Cavaliers to trade not only Love but also one of their newest acquisitions, Andre Drummond, in the 2020 offseason.
“A divorce from Love seems inevitable, although Cleveland won’t trade its best player just for the sake of it. There has to be some value coming back. His contract will be down to three remaining years and $91.5 million, but that’s still a tough pill for most teams to swallow, despite his production. After trading for Drummond at the deadline, there’s also a chance Cleveland looks to move the two-time All-Star and three-time rebounding champ already this offseason.”
Before the 2020 February trade deadline, the Cavaliers traded for Drummond with the hope that pairing him with Love could make them more competitive in the Eastern Conference. Drummond somewhat managed to make a good impression in his first few games as a Cavalier. In the eight games he played, the 26-year-old center averaged 17.5 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, and 1.5 steals while shooting 55.2 percent from the field.
Unfortunately, despite Drummond’s incredible performance on both ends of the floor, it wasn’t enough to bring the Cavaliers back to the playoff race in the 2019-20 NBA season. Though they have only seen a few samples of the Drummond-Love experiment, most people would agree that it would be best to trade both veterans and undergo a full-scale rebuild.
Once they become officially available on the trading block, Drummond and Love would likely receive strong interest from teams who are in dire need of a frontcourt boost to have a better chance of contending for the championship title. Love’s current contract may be a huge turnoff to potential suitors, but if they lower their asking price, the Cavaliers aren’t expected to have a hard time finding a trade partner for the All-Star power forward. Meanwhile, before they could get something valuable in return for Drummond, the Cavaliers would first need to convince him to opt into the final year of his contract instead of testing the free agency market this summer.