Blazers Offered Expiring Contracts For Kevin Love

The Trail Blazers were rumored to have kicked tires on Kevin Love earlier this year, and according to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic (via NBC Sports), the team offered Kent Bazemore and Hassan Whiteside for the big man.

Whiteside is making $27.1MM this season. Bazemore is making $19.3MM while Love is taking home $28.9MM. The outlined of the deal suggests that Portland would have received other players as part of the trade in order to meet the league’s salary-matching rules.

It’s not clear when exactly the proposal took place — the Blazers ended up trading Bazemore to the Kings in earlier January, so presumably, it was before that deal. Portland netted Trevor Ariza as part of the five-player trade.

The Cavaliers had Brandon Knight and John Henson on substantial expiring pacts prior to the team trading them to Detroit for Andre Drummond. Perhaps one of those two were in the proposed deal. Tristan Thompson, who is making $18.5M in the final year of his contract, could also have been a possibility, though that is simply speculation.

The Cavs couldn’t find common ground with potential trade partners when it came to Love’s trade value. Cleveland reportedly wanted a first-round pick in exchange for the big man, while it was rumored that some teams wanted a first-rounder just to take Love. The former All-Star has approximately $91MM left on his deal after this season.

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27 thoughts on “Blazers Offered Expiring Contracts For Kevin Love

  1. Buckman

    $30 million open per year for the next three years could have gone a long way to help rebuild the Cavs. Bringing in younger FAs or RFAs. On the bright side you get K-Love’s mood swings and declining production…good call. The only bright spot is that if he stays relatively productive and healthy next season you can dump him then.

  2. SheltonMatthews

    I guess it really matters what those other pieces were, or if the Blazers were asking for a pick or something else the Cavs wouldn’t give. Because getting out from under Love’s contract without giving up anything else is a huge win. Must be more to it, unless the Cavs are dumber than the Knicks.

    • Chief Two Hands

      The Cavs do not strike me as a very intelligent organization, and that begins with Gilbert.

      • oneiblnd

        Well they did let LeMe walk without getting anything. Most teams would have a sought a sign and trade.

  3. Theone23

    If that rumored offer is in fact true, the Cavs would have been wise to take the expiring deals and get out from under Love’s contract, while also ridding themselves of a headache that doesn’t want to be there and probably isn’t the best role model for younger players. Would also open up playing time for younger guys. Mistake by the Cavs to pass that up imo

  4. Jason Lancaster

    While I’m not at all impressed with the Cavs leadership, I think that they were smart to pass if they were offered expirings for Love in early January.

    The best offers don’t come until the deadline, or very close to it. The Cavs weren’t just saying no to the salary dump, they were also saying no to whatever deals might have come afterwards.

    And, based on the timing, I think we know why Love lost his mind in that Jan. 4th OKC game…I’d be pretty fried too if my agent told me I might finally be free, and then found out the Cavs were holding out for a better offer.

    • x%sure

      Home state and contention… Credit due if the Blazers do rally for the playoffs. Yes mad. He could have been trying to push the trade too by acting up and promising future problems, but in the end, mad.

      • Appalachian_Outlaw

        If I were Love, I’d be heated, too. Most non-contenders don’t foolishly hold decent players during a rebuild if they’re older.

  5. It would’ve been nice to get out from Love’s contract with no future commitments in regards to salary, but its not like free agents are going to be lining up to sign with the Cavs with all that cap space anyway (besides the fact that the 2020 free agent class isn’t considered to be that great anyway). The Cavs would either end up giving bad contracts to bad players or pull a 2019 Knicks offseason and sign a bunch of random players to inflated 1 and 2 year deals hoping to get something for them in a trade.

    Barring some unforeseen circumstance, Love’s trade value is unlikely to shift significantly one way or the other. And its not like Love is currently blocking a surefire stud from playing time. Assuming the Cavs make an attempt to retain Drummond, there are worse options to continue to build around than a Garland/Sexton/Love/Drummond combo.

    • Jason Lancaster

      Or, use the cap space to facilitate trades in exchange for draft picks.

      • I mean that’s assuming a trade market develops and there are teams who are going to be desperate to get out of a contract or two. Again, the free agent market this offseason is pretty mediocre, with AD (and his player option) really being the only big name that is likely to be “available”. Anything can happen, but I doubt we see as much big name trade movement this offseason as we did last offseason since teams will primarily be gearing up to save cap space for 2021’s free agent class. If the Cavs really wanted to priotize cap space going into this offseason, they likely wouldn’t have moved Knight/Henson for Drummond, despite it being a highway robbery in regards to value switching hands, since Drummond has a player option that I think he’ll pick up.

        And if a trade never comes to fruition than the Cavs are stuck with a bunch of cap space and no clear way to spend it aside from giving out bad contracts to whatever remains of the free agent market at that point.

  6. Imagine the Cavaliers history if the draft wasn’t rigged when the WON LeBron?

  7. JBHoops

    Wow. How do the Cavs NOT do that deal? They could have freed up their cap space. Yeah, they aren’t a free agent destination but they could facilitate deals with that cap space that would bring a pick or young player back. Love is not going to get you a pick. No one wants him for anything of value. Terrible move by the Cavs front office.

  8. phillyballers

    So… They tried to do a deal I thought they should have pursued at the season’s onset? Cleveland is just dumb for not moving Love. They won’t find any compensation other than salary relief. The only trade I could see them recouping a pick is if the deal was with a bad 2 year contract going to them.

    • x%sure

      Yes that made things tougher on Beilein, having to deal with Love’s mood. Leaking that would help reclaim his reputation. Good job coach, leak some more, esp if it involves Altman. It’s not a good year anyway.

  9. Adam37

    I think it would be stupid for them to have done this deal. Cap room is valuable, but mostly to be able to take on other bad contracts and gain an asset – for the Cavs (cause they won’t be attracting FA’s) — but this summer there may be a team willing to give up an asset for Love and if not, then it’s likely they can get a similar deal either offseason or in season next year (at worst) with possibly getting something in return from a desperate team like Portland may be if they don’t make playoffs and don’t have any other way of improving in offseason

    • whoneedsfacts

      Maybe not, Love is losing production and likely to be looked at with negative value this summer. Teams will want something to take him on. Getting rid of that bad contract free and clear is the asset.

  10. formerlyz

    I feel like if this was true, Cleveland should have taken the expiring money

  11. Appalachian_Outlaw

    It doesn’t get much more “Cavs” than being presented with a great deal for all involved, and then stupidly bungling a gift-wrapped opportunity by asking for more. No one is giving you a 1st. No one. The fact that they believe there’s a chance shows why they continually circle the drain.

  12. x%sure

    Many predicted that trade. It was set up ideally for the Cavs to take, on purpose by Olshey or not. I think the main issue is, will a similar opportunity be replicated?– odds are not good.

    No pick was included, but capspace can be used to get picks.

    There was talk on HR around then (Jan.) about a Love trading opportunity, and a relatively sudden KLove uprising, so I believe it.

    From KLove’s standpoint, that would have been terrific, and with that salary.

    Not sure what would happen with the Drummond trade. He is a center too, but might be taken on a talent basis. There would be a huge cap hole to fill and Gilbert is not really trying to save money.
    But not a reason to deny a Love trade.

    Altman likely thinks a team wanting to shake things up this summer, denied by a weak FA market, will call.

    • Jason Lancaster

      I figure:

      a) no one really has cap space this summer, so trades are the name of the game
      b) stretch 4/5s that can do all the things aren’t common
      c) Love’s value isn’t going to decrease (as long as he stays healthy, his value probably increases b/c the contract gets shorter every day)
      d) Cleveleand will take back salary (why not?)

      It makes sense to wait and see. If Giannis signs the supermax extension, the market for Love gets stronger. Portland could circle back and make another offer. Houston and Miami could be interested too.

      Of course, all these options come at the expense of a distraction…I can see both sides. But this is one of the few times I can see why Cleveland did what they did.

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