Trade season is nearing and Kevin Love‘s name is again popping up. However, the latest tidbit isn’t particularly favorable to the Cavaliers. Jason Lloyd of The Athletic hears from multiple sources that the team is going to have a difficult time dealing Love because of his massive contract.
Love has three years and roughly $91MM left on his deal after this season and some teams are asking the Cavaliers to attach a first-rounder or other asset to the big man in order to move him. While that stance exists, it is not uniform throughout the league.
Cleveland is seeking a first-rounder in exchange for Love and Lloyd hears from one rival executive that the franchise may end up netting that asset in a trade. It may all depend on how much salary the Cavaliers are willing to take back in addition to the pick.
“I don’t think it’s distracted anything right now,” coach John Beilein said of the trade rumors. “I’ve been hearing that since the time I was hired. We want Kevin to go out there and play his best every single day for the Cleveland Cavaliers.”
Lloyd names the Celtics, Trail Blazers, and Mavericks as teams that make sense as a trade partner based on his conversations with people around the league. Portland might seem like an odd fit with Carmelo Anthony playing well at power forward, but some around the game believe Melo’s game will fade as the season goes along.
The Cavaliers have essentially made “everyone but [Darius Garland]” available. The franchise wants to find way to gain additional first-round picks and would love to flip a player on an expiring deal for one. That’s unlikely to happen even for Tristan Thompson, who is playing some of the best basketball of his career. Trading Love while taking some money back may be Cleveland’s only route to its desired asset.