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Community Shootaround: Kevin Love

When the Cavaliers traded for Kevin Love two years ago, they hoped he was the missing piece to a championship team. But in this year’s finals, they’ve looked more like a champion when Love was missing.

Cleveland’s only win came in a Game 3 blowout with Love unable to play because of a concussion. He returned for Friday’s Game 4, but managed just 11 points and five rebounds in 25 minutes as the Cavs fell into a 3-1 hole.

Love came to Cleveland in a trade with Minnesota to form a new Big Three with Kyrie Irving and the returning LeBron James. But questions about his compatibility started almost immediately and grew louder as Andrew Wiggins, the key player sent to the Wolves in the deal, blossomed into the 2014/15 Rookie of the Year.

Love and the Cavs had a chance to end their uneasy partnership when he became a free agent last summer. Instead, he re-signed in Cleveland for about $110MM over five years, agreeing to terms shortly after the July 1st start of free agency. Later in the offseason, the Cavaliers committed $82MM over five years to Tristan Thompson, also a power forward.

With another championship slipping out of reach and a huge luxury tax payment due, speculation is growing that the Cavs might try to trade Love this summer. The Denver Post’s Christopher Dempsey wrote in April that the Nuggets would be a willing partner, possibly parting with a group of young players who are a better fit for coach Tyronn Lue’s fast-paced offense. The Celtics, Trail Blazers, Suns, Wizards, Rockets, Mavericks, Magic and Hornets would also be interested, according to Tom Ziller of SB Nation.

Love clearly wants to be in Cleveland and is irritated by the talk that the franchise needs to get rid of him to win a title. He showed his loyalty during free agency and doesn’t want to be dispatched now as a scapegoat.

“I don’t know how to answer it, because I have a couple bad games last series [against Toronto], tough games, and have to come back and do whatever I needed to do to help the team,” Love told Dave McMenamin of “Still, it’s just never enough.”

But the economic reality is that Love is owed $93MM over the next four seasons. Add in the more than $67.7MM the Cavs must pay Thompson over that span and the possibility that James will become a power forward as he gets older, and it’s easy to see that Cleveland is overloaded at one position.

That brings us to tonight’s question: Should the Cavaliers trade Love this summer, and where would be the best spot for him? Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the topic. We look forward to what you have to say.

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14 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Kevin Love

  1. Ya probably. They get the same play from Channing Frye. They can clear loads of money of their cap space. And if they deal to the right team, can get a decent return.

  2. CAVS0223

    Portland for CJ McCollum.

    • Was thinking the same thing, + tho unlikely they should consider pitching to KD. Lebron’s lost a few steps, he would need to be honest about his role to help KD.

      But a sign and trade involving Love to OKC to pair I’m up with Westbrook is doable if KD ever considered the scenario. Cavs likely be coming out of the 31st for the next 3-4 yrs (with better odds than recently).

  3. Yes, to the Nuggets, since State Farm made it blatantly obvious that little Kevin loves Mile High Nuggets. But seriously, Nuggets have a bunch of interesting assets (Gallo, Chandler, Barton, picks, etc.) and need someone that could help bring fans to the seats with some offensive firepower. Kevin Love is also the outdoorsy type that Denver can offer as a little aside. Defense would be a huge issue, but it seems like a gamble the Nuggets could take with Michael Malone leading the charge back to relevance

  4. Michael

    Love to Suns makes the most sense. Give up B Knight for shooting and either Tucker or Chandler for Defense. Both teams benefit

    • hill
      daren hill

      Love and Delly for for Chandler and Knight?

  5. Andrew C.

    The Cavs obviously have to trade Love. I honestly don’t know what Cleveland can or should expect to get for him, considering how little leverage they have. My top two spot are:

    1) Portland

    I don’t see Portland giving up McCollum for Love. What I can see is Portland trading Vonleh, Leonard (sign-and-trade), a couple of their reserve players (like Alexander, Connaughton, or Montero), and maybe a protected 1st-rounder for Love. Portland gets an established name for a few young guys that probably won’t have much of a future with them (except maybe Vonleh). Love could certainly benefit from a change of scenery, where he’ll definitely have a more prominent role. The fact that Portland has an absurd amount of cap space also helps them absorb his massive contract.

    This may seem like a low-ball offer, but offloading Love’s massive and unjustified contract is an important part of this trade. Increasing their cap flexibility will certainly help them in free agency this year and in future years. Also, you get some nice young talent and although it’s unproven/inconsistent talent, it’s still a decent return.

    2) Phoenix

    They need a big name. Kevin Love is a big name. They also have a logjam at the point, and could trade either Bledsoe or Knight. Bledsoe will definitely command more than just Love, considering he’s better than Knight, has connections to Lebron, and probably more valued by the team than Knight. Trading Knight straight up for Love will not be enough for Cleveland, and throwing in a first-rounder or two and a player like P.J Tucker would be a pretty decent swap in my opinion. Phoenix certainly has a gaping hole at the 4 and although that could be filled through this year’s draft, getting a player like Love might actually make them a slightly legitimate playoff team for a couple years or so.

    • Andrew C.

      I would hope that Love going to Portland for some non-core pieces doesn’t screw up the team chemistry. That was a big part of their success and Portland might be better off looking at alternative solutions that won’t have as much of an adverse impact on that chemistry if that is the case (such as Al Horford).

    • The problem with the Portland proposal is that, despite the cap flexibility, that deal does almost nothing to help the Cavs in the short term (outside of maybe Meyers Leonard). The Cavs would almost certainly want either some guys who can step into the rotation or immediate cap room to spend elsewhere (so very little guaranteed money coming back). The Cavs don’t have the time to let Leonard, Vonleh, etc., develop.

  6. The problem is that the Warriors are just a bad matchup for him. Warriors have been able to take advantage of Love’s defensive struggles all series. Aside from this series and last series vs. TOR, he;s been solid all year. But if the Cavs feel they need to clear cap space, I think they should look into moving him.

  7. Thronson5

    I think they should trade him. Either to the Suns, Nuggets, Spurs, Bulls or even Hear are all good possibilities to me. I can see the Heat if they lose Bosh and Whiteside really pushing hard for him

  8. Thronson5

    But I do think no matter what he has to leave this team. They just don’t click and he is the odd man out. I think Lebron will try very hard to get at least one of his best friends to come play with him in Cleveland. Just don’t know how that’s possible. Wouldn’t surprise me if he left for NY to play with Carmelo honestly Call me crazy but I really see it happening. Before people say it Pilsner happen just wait and see, if I’m wrong then you can say I was crazy hahaha

    • He’s not going to NY. Nothing in NY would benefit him (branding wise) and I’m sure he knows how much the NY media and fans would rip him apart if he failed to deliver immediately. Also, I don’t see him leaving Cleveland until he wins a championship there and/or his final years.

  9. Absolutely not.

    The Cavs have made it to the finals two straight years, despite ever-changing rosters and coaching changes. They need to look across from them at their current opponents and see the value of organizational consistency. Let Lue learn how to coach (since he’s currently being outcouched badly, but it is his first playoffs, first half-year coaching). Let Love define his role (look at what Bosh did between his first and second years in Miami, learning how to maximize his skills for a third-star role). Let the team improve internally, especially on the defensive end, which will only improve as they play more together.

    They’re going to have a clear path to the finals again next year. Why mess with that? Maybe next year they won’t face a historically dominant team, like they have the past two. Maybe an injury bounces their way. Maybe they, simply, improve in a natural way.

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