The Cleveland Cavaliers are in a rebuild and have several veteran players who could be useful pieces for a championship contender, so, naturally, they are a team to keep a close eye on before the NBA trade deadline Feb. 6.
One of the hottest names in the rumor mill is Cavs power forward Kevin Love. He’s still an All-Star caliber player, but a lengthy history of injuries and a contract that has three more years and about $90 million remaining should be concerns for any potential suitors.
In fact, The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd has reported that interested teams want a draft pick in addition to Love.
The Cavs are asking for a first-round pick in exchange for Love, one source with knowledge of the situation said. But teams are actually asking for a first-round pick from Cleveland just to absorb the final 3 1/2 years on his deal. It only takes one injury or one team to change all of that, but at this point, the gap between what the Cavs want and what is being offered seems pretty wide.
Love has been pretty durable through the first quarter of the season, playing in 20 of the Cavaliers’ first 24 games. He’s averaging 15.7 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.6 per game.
One potential roadblock in the Cavs trading Love is teams might prefer to keep their salary cap flexibility for the summer of 2021, when superstars such as Giannis Antetokounmpo could hit free agency. Love’s contract doesn’t expire until after the 2022-23 season.
Love prefers a trade to the Portland Trail Blazers, according to The Ringer. This makes sense given Love’s ties to Oregon, as well as the Blazers’ need for a frontcourt upgrade. Portland is off to a disappointing 10-15 start, so it’ll be interesting to watch how desperate the Blazers become as the trade deadline nears.
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