The Kevin Love trade watch is already under way in Cleveland, according to Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. The Cavaliers were hoping to continue their streak of playoff appearances after losing LeBron James, but they haven’t looked like contenders in any way during an 0-3 start, especially in Sunday’s blowout loss to the Hawks.
Love has been among the few bright spots, averaging 20.7 PPG and 14.3 RPG, but at age 30 he seems out of place on a team that may have to get serious about rebuilding. The four-year, $120MM extension he signed this summer may make him more attractive on the trade market, Bontemps suggests, just as a similar deal did for Blake Griffin last summer. Love won’t become trade eligible until late January, and the Cavs could be well out of the postseason race by then
There’s more today from the Central Division:
- The Bulls have an abundance of point guards after signing Shaquille Harrison over the weekend, notes Sam Smith of NBA.com. Kris Dunn is expected to take over the starting role when he returns from paternity leave tonight, with Harrison and former Suns teammate Tyler Ulis in reserve, along with Cameron Payne and Ryan Arcidiacono. Harrison hopes to use his defensive prowess to help him emerge from the pack. “It’s a great opportunity,” he said. “When I found out, I was extremely excited and ready to get down here and get to work. It was an unfortunate situation in Phoenix, but I’m going to take full advantage of it here in Chicago.”
- Coach Dwane Casey’s lineup shuffling led to Luke Kennard not playing at all on Saturday after being in the starting lineup for the season opener, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. The new Pistons coach is working his way through a crowded rotation and has used point guards Reggie Jackson and Ish Smith at the same time, cutting down on the available wing minutes.
- Free agent addition Kyle O’Quinn paid early dividends for the Pacers in Saturday’s win over the Nets, states Scott Agness of The Athletic. With Domantas Sabonis ruled out shortly before game time, O’Quinn stepped in with 16 points, eight rebounds and a pair of blocks. “This is what we brought him here for,” coach Nate McMillan said. “… There are going to be nights where we’re going to need him. Domas was out, (Kyle) stepped in and he was ready to go, and played a really, really good game for us.”