Sources close to Cavaliers veterans Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson tell Joe Vardon of The Athletic that both big men would ideally like to play for a team with a chance to win a championship. However, Vardon warns not to read too much into that, suggesting that neither player has given any indication he wants out of Cleveland.
Additionally, even if the Cavaliers decide to try to deal Love or Thompson, it’s not clear if there would be a strong market for either player, Vardon notes. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t appeal to contenders, but trade chatter around the NBA is “way down,” according to one general manager who spoke to The Athletic, and Love’s and Thompson’s big cap hits would make them tricky to move.
Over at The Ringer, Kevin O’Connor tries to identify a few teams that might match up with the Cavaliers in a Love trade, writing that rival team executives believe GM Koby Altman is “just posturing” when he insists Cleveland has zero interest in moving the five-time All-Star. However, O’Connor has a tough time finding ideal fits, listing the Kings, Spurs, Heat, Trail Blazers, and Rockets as some teams that might work in theory.
As Altman and the Cavs consider their options, here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:
- Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer believes the departure of Malcolm Brogdon is a shadow hanging over the Bucks‘ season and advises Milwaukee to consider Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic as a potential trade target to help fill that void.
- As cap expert Albert Nahmad (Twitter links) explains, the hard-capped Heat won’t be able to convert Chris Silva from his two-way deal to a standard contract any earlier than January 14, but they may be able to continue using him in most games up until that point, since the NBA has relaxed its rules regarding service time for two-way players.
- Nets forward Rodions Kurucs appeared in court this week for a third hearing in his domestic violence case, as Andrew Denney of The New York Post details. Kurus, who was accused of choking his now-ex-girlfriend, is due to return to court on January 8.
- In a mailbag, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer explores whether Devonte’ Graham, not Terry Rozier, has become Kemba Walker‘s replacement for the Hornets. Bonnell also dives into Charlotte’s solid start to the season, the team’s rotation, and potential trade-deadline plans.