Despite losing LeBron James in the summer of 2018, the Cleveland Cavaliers still refused to trade Kevin Love and undergo a full-scale rebuild. Instead of taking a different route, they decided to give Love a massive contract extension and make him the centerpiece of the next title-contending team that they were trying to build in Cleveland. Unfortunately, under his leadership, the Cavaliers turned from being a legitimate title contender into one of the worst teams in the league.
After suffering two disappointing seasons, it seems like Cleveland is finally ready to move on from Love. In a recent appearance on Cleveland.com podcast, Brian Windhorst of ESPN revealed that the All-Star power forward is “back on the trade market” in the 2020 offseason.
“I was talking to an executive the other day, just this week, and I said, ‘Yeah, I heard that Kevin Love was back on the trade market,'” Windhorst said, as quoted by Sam Amico of Amico Hoops.
“And he laughed, and he goes, ‘Please tell me when he was off the trade market.'”
It’s no longer surprising if the Cavaliers really decide to get rid of Love this fall. He may have been a positive locker room presence in Cleveland and formed a good relationship with their young core. However, Amico believes that he doesn’t possess the quality of a leader who is capable of leading a rebuilding team like the Cavaliers back to title contention.
“Love is a great teammate, gets along with everybody. But he’s not really much of a leader. By that, I mean he’s not going to take charge of the locker room and demand improvement from the younger players. He’s more apt to be just one of the guys.”
Instead of Love wasting his prime years mentoring young players in Cleveland, Amico thinks that the player is better off serving as the third or fourth option on a team with championship aspirations. He may have gone through plenty of ups and downs in the past years, but he remains a very reliable contributor on the offensive end of the floor. Last season, he averaged 17.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists while shooting 45.0 percent from the field and 37.4 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.
As of now, it remains unknown what type of trade package the Cavaliers are looking for in exchange for the All-Star power forward. However, if they wouldn’t demand much in return, several title contenders will be surely lining up to get Love’s service this fall. Some of the potential suitors of Love on the trade market include the Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets, and the Boston Celtics.