Reports this winter have repeatedly suggested that Kevin Love would like to be traded to a contender, and it’s still possible the Cavaliers will find a deal in the next couple weeks. However, sources tell Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com that Love’s value may be higher during the offseason when it won’t be quite so tricky to move a player with his cap hit.
If that’s the case, Love may end up remaining in Cleveland for at least the rest of the 2019/20 season. And he insisted on Thursday that he wouldn’t have a problem with that.
“I will be happy if I’m still here,” Love said, per Fedor. “I fully plan on continuing to help these guys, continuing to help — Tristan (Thompson), myself, Larry (Nance Jr.), these guys, being a leader with all the veterans. And this place, Cleveland, the fans, they’ve been really, really good to me. So, yes.”
Love had a series of outbursts – including an in-game show of frustration – earlier this season, and a source tells Fedor that many aspects of the Cavs’ season have “driven him crazy.” Fedor adds that the club’s “selfish” playing style has been a source of irritation for Love, though the veteran power forward vowed a few weeks ago to “be better” when it came to expressing that frustration and being an example for Cleveland’s young players. He has been more patient since then, Fedor notes.
As has been the case all season, there’s still skepticism that the Cavs and a trade partner will see eye-to-eye on Love’s value. The big man’s expensive, long-term contract, which will have three years and $91MM left on it after this season, is a deterrent for potential suitors. But the Cavs will continue to seek at least one valuable asset – such as a promising young player or first-round pick – in any deal for their most productive player. Love is averaging a double-double (17.4 PPG, 10.0 RPG) with a .450/.366/.841 shooting line this season.
Love is one of several veteran Cavaliers who are candidates to be moved at the deadline. The club also figures to discuss players like Tristan Thompson, Brandon Knight, John Henson, and Matthew Dellavedova, all of whom are on expiring contracts. However, things have been quiet as of late for the Cavs, and there’s some growing doubt internally that a massive shakeup is around the corner, according to Fedor.