Source: Gettyimages | Gregory Shamus

Cavaliers Could Pay Wizards Three Second-Rounders To Absorb Kevin Love's Contract


May 30 2021, Published 10:33 a.m. ET

The Cleveland Cavaliers gave Kevin Love a massive contract extension in the summer of 2018 with the hope that he could lead the team back to title contention in the post-LeBron James era. Unfortunately, Love has never lived up to expectations as the Cavaliers' main guy. Under his leadership, the Cavaliers have struggled to consistently win games and turned themselves from a legitimate title contender into one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference.

When the 2020-21 NBA season is officially over, the Cavaliers are expected to try to find a way to get rid of Love and his massive salary.

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Possible Next Stop For Kevin Love - Washington Wizards

Source: Gettyimages | Patrick Smith

In a recent article, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report came up with a list of best trades that every NBA team can actually make this summer. For the Cavaliers, it's the hypothetical deal that would send Love to the Washington Wizards. However, though the Wizards are expected to pursue their third star in the 2021 offseason, they are highly likely to demand compensation from the Cavaliers for absorbing Love's contract.

In the proposed trade scenario by Swartz, the Cavaliers would be sending Love, Dylan Windler, two 2022 second-round picks, and a 2023 second-round pick to the Wizards in exchange for Davis Bertans, Thomas Bryant, and Chandler Hutchinson.

Does The Trade Make Sense For The Cavaliers?

Source: Gettyimages | Gregory Shamus

Though it wouldn't help them open up a huge chunk of their salary space, Swartz believes that the proposed trade deal is still worth exploring for the Cavaliers.

"For Cleveland, Bertans' contract isn't ideal, either (four years, $65 million) but he's four years younger than Love and more closely fits the Cavs' rebuild. Bryant is coming off a torn ACL but should at least become a serviceable backup to Jarrett Allen. Hutchinson can be a solid role player, but this deal is ultimately about moving on from Love."

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Wizards Take The Risk

The suggested trade would undoubtedly bury the Wizards deeper into the luxury tax hell. Just the trio of Love, Westbrook, and Beal already have a combined salary of $110 million for the 2021-22 NBA season, according to Spotrac, giving the Wizards limited opportunity to add quality players in the 2021 free agency. However, to ease the financial burden of taking Love's salary, the Wizards would be receiving a former first-round pick in Windler plus three future second-round selections.

Acquiring all those assets would be beneficial for the Wizards, especially if they finally decide to tear their roster down and undergo a full-scale rebuild.

Kevin Love Tries To Revive His Career In Washington

Though they wouldn't give him the best chance of winning another NBA title, Love would definitely prefer to play for an aspiring contender like the Wizards instead of wasting another season mentoring young players in Cleveland. Taking his talent to Washington would provide him with the opportunity to revive his career and prove to everyone in the league that he still has plenty of gas left in his tank.

With the years he spent with Kyrie Irving and LeBron James on the Cavaliers, Love won't have a hard time making himself fit alongside Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal in Washington. If Love, Westbrook, and Beal mesh well on the court and manage to sway away from any major injury, the Wizards could form their own "Big Three" in the 2021-22 NBA season.


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