Cavaliers Rumors

Cavs’ Dylan Windler Suffers Injury Setback

Cavaliers rookie swingman Dylan Windler has suffered a setback and will be sidelined from on-court basketball activities for two weeks to re-evaluate a left lower leg stress reaction, according to a team press release.

Thus far, it’s been a lost season for the 26th overall pick out of Belmont. The 6’6” Windler was sidelined early in training camp after being diagnosed with the injury, which originally had a 4-6 week timetable. After looking good in practices and scrimmages, Windler was expected to make his NBA debut earlier this month.

However, following those workouts and a G League stint with the Canton Charge, Windler began experiencing symptoms relating to his injury. The team’s medical staff determined that additional treatment and rehabilitation was needed.

Windler will seek a second opinion from Orthopedic Specialist Dr. David Porter of IU Health Methodist Hospital and Sports Medicine in Indianapolis, the release adds. Windler is one of three first-rounders on the Cavs’ roster along with Darius Garland (No. 5) and Kevin Porter (No. 30).

Windler moved up the prospects list during his senior season at Belmont, in which he averaged 21.3 PPG and 10.8 RPG with a .540/.429/.847 shooting line in 33 games.

Mixed Opinions On Kevin Love’s Trade Value

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.

NBA Trade Candidate Watch: Central Division

Over the course of the 2019/20 NBA season, up until February’s trade deadline, we’re keeping an eye on potential trade candidates from around the NBA, monitoring their value and exploring the likelihood that they’ll be moved. Each of these looks at possible trade candidates focuses on a specific division, as we zero in on three players from that division.

We’re just three days away from December 15, the date when more than 120 players who signed new contracts this past offseason will become trade-eligible. Generally, NBA teams don’t suddenly complete a flurry of trades when the calendar turns to December 15, but it at least provides some hope that one of the leagues’ longest ever trade droughts could come to an end soon.

After initially identifying three trade candidates from the Central last month, we’re circling back to the division today to examine three more. Let’s dive in…

Kevin Love, PF
Cleveland Cavaliers
$28.9MM cap hit; $91.5MM in additional guaranteed salaries through 2022/23

As Jason Lloyd of The Athletic wrote this morning, Love has been the subject of trade rumors for years, but it feels a little different this time.

It seems likely that Love is one of the players who hasn’t been particularly fond of John Beilein‘s coaching style. After all, it was just two months ago that the Cavaliers’ power forward was talking about how much he wanted to remain in Cleveland. With the Cavs off to a 5-19 start, the latest reports are suggesting that Love would rather be traded to a contender.

There will be plenty of roadblocks in the way of a potential deal. Matching Love’s cap hit of nearly $29MM will be a challenge for many teams. Even clubs that have the salaries necessary to acquire Love may not agree with the Cavs about his value — Lloyd suggested today that Cleveland wants a first-round pick in return, but that may only be realistic if the club is willing to take back some bad money.

Ersan Ilyasova, PF
Milwaukee Bucks
$7MM cap hit; $7MM non-guaranteed salary for 2020/21

The Bucks have opened the season by winning 22 of their first 25 games, including 16 in a row through Wednesday. If the team continues playing at this level, you could make a strong case that the best approach at the trade deadline would be standing pat.

If Milwaukee does look to upgrade its supporting cast though, Ilyasova looks like the most logical candidate to be moved in such a deal. His $7MM cap hit makes him a good salary-matching chip for mid-level contracts, and his non-guaranteed salary for next season would appeal to teams looking to create flexibility.

The 32-year-old also isn’t such a crucial piece of the rotation that the Bucks would balk at giving him up. He’s not a particularly strong defender or play-maker, so his value comes from his ability to stretch the floor, but he has only made 33.3% of his three-point attempts, his lowest mark since 2013/14, and his 16.3 minutes per game are the fewest he has averaged since 2006/07.

It’s hard to come up with an ideal trade scenario for the Bucks, so Ilyasova is probably more likely to stay put than to change teams within the next couple months. But it won’t be a surprise if he’s dangled in a few trade discussions before February 6.

Reggie Jackson, PG
Detroit Pistons
$18.1MM cap hit; UFA in 2020

If the Pistons fall out of playoff contention in the Eastern Conference, some bigger names could become trade candidates. In that scenario, potential deals involving Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin shouldn’t be entirely ruled out.

But considering the 11-13 Magic currently hold the No. 8 spot in the East, falling out of the playoff race is unlikely unless the Pistons totally bottom out. As such, Jackson is the more logical trade candidate than the team’s two stars, since his expiring $18MM+ salary could be used to build a package for another impact player.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as if there will be many impact players available that will fit the Pistons’ roster. But exploring a trade for a player like D’Angelo Russell using Jackson’s contract as the primary salary-matching piece might make sense if Detroit – which has all its future first-round picks available – remains in win-now mode.

Revisit the rest of our 2019/20 Trade Candidate series right here.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cavs Rumors: Love, Trade Options, Porter

The Cavaliers may have a difficult time trading Kevin Love this season for a couple reasons, as Jason Lloyd of The Athletic explains. For one, Love has a massive contract that will pay him more than $91MM over the next three seasons, not counting his $29MM cap hit for 2019/20.

Additionally, there may be a significant divide between what the Cavaliers want for Love vs. what other teams are willing to offer. A source with knowledge of the situation tells Lloyd that Cleveland is seeking a first-round pick. However, some potential trade partners want to acquire a first-rounder themselves for absorbing the final three-and-a-half years of Love’s contract.

One league executive believes the Cavs may eventually get the first-round pick they want in a Love trade, but it depends how much salary they’ll be willing to take back, Lloyd writes. It doesn’t help the Cavs’ case that there aren’t many truly toxic multiyear contracts left on teams’ books around the NBA that they could absorb.

Here’s more out of Cleveland:

  • Following up on Love, Lloyd acknowledges that the five-time All-Star has been the subject of trade rumors for years, but says this time feels “a little more real.”
  • Here’s how Love responded when asked by Lloyd if he re-upped with Cleveland because the team was willing to pay him more money than he could’ve received in free agency: “Maybe more years. And honestly it was like the last one I signed. I could’ve done a one-plus-one and waited, and got $40MM more. But I think I felt comfortable here, I didn’t know what the future was going to hold, but they believed in me after my first year after I got hurt and they believed in me then. And it’s really hard to say no when the money is right there. From a strictly financial standpoint, if it’s right there in front of you, you’re like, ‘S–t.'”
  • The Cavaliers had made it known that they’re ready to discuss trades, according to Lloyd, who hears from one source that the team has made “basically everyone but Darius [Garland]” available. The Cavs’ veterans on expiring contracts are the club’s most logical trade chips, but Lloyd is unconvinced that any of those players will be worth a first-round pick on the trade market.
  • According to Lloyd, the Cavs have been “quietly impressed” with what they’ve seen so far from No. 30 overall pick Kevin Porter Jr. Chris Fedor of took a closer look at Porter after the rookie scored a career-high 24 points vs. Houston on Wednesday, writing that the 19-year-old has been the “brightest light in a gloomy season” for the franchise.

Kevin Love Reportedly Interested In Blazers

Multiple sources have informed The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor that pricey Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love would prefer to be traded to his hometown Trail Blazers. Love, a native of Lake Oswego, Oregon, is in the first year of a four-year, $120.1MM contract.

The big man, 31, missed 60 games last season with various maladies. Injuries also hindered his availability during the 2017/18 season. Love missed 23 games that year, his last All-Star season.

O’Connor opines that the expiring contracts of center Hassan Whiteside (who is earning $27.1MM) or wing Kent Bazemore ($19.3MM) could be used in a deal with Cleveland. Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson, currently earning $18.5MM in the final year of his deal, could also be a good fit in Portland, O’Connor notes. Injured center Jusuf Nurkic is expected to return to the floor for Portland well before the playoffs commence.

The 10-15 Blazers are seeded 11th in the competitive Western Conference at present, but they are just two games back of the 11-12 Suns, the current No. 8 seed in a crowded race for the bottom of the playoff bracket.

Even with the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference fairly open (the 11-12 Magic currently occupy that position), the 5-18 Cavaliers face an uphill battle to make the playoffs. Anonymous leaks suggest player dissatisfaction with new head coach John Beilein, and their young guards, Darius Garland and Collin Sexton, have both struggled to perform thus far this season. With Love apparently wanting out, too, the Cavs may be best served cutting their losses and stockpiling whatever assets they can extract from an interested trade partner.

O’Connor notes that the Suns and Nuggets may also be candidates for Love’s services ahead of the February 6th trade deadline.

Central Notes: Thompson, George, Pacers, Valentine

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson wasn’t happy about the fact that a report surfaced last week anonymously quoting three of his teammates who were critical of John Beilein‘s head coaching style. Thompson came to Beilein’s defense over the weekend and fired back at the teammates quoted in that report, according to Chris Fedor of

“Y’all better find them names ’cause I’ll pull up on ’em right now,” Thompson said. “You can’t do that s–t. At the end of the day if you’re going to build a culture and a family, you can’t have that Chatty Patty s–t going on. That s–t is whack to me.

“Everyone’s got to look in the mirror, there’s only so much coach can do and there’s only so much we can do,” Thompson continued. “Do we have the best roster in the NBA? No. But we’re going to go out there and compete every night. Guys got to look in the mirror. So I hope whoever reported that was just bulls——g and blamed it on a player.”

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • After getting a rough reception from Pacers fans on Sunday, Paul George said he’s not the one those fans should be booing. What exactly did he mean? “The belief in Indiana is that he’s referring to Larry Bird,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said this week on an episode of The Jump (video link). Bird, now an advisor in Indiana, was formerly the team’s president of basketball operations and pushed George to move from small forward to power forward, something PG13 didn’t want to do, as Windhorst details.
  • Speaking of the Pacers, they look like they could become a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference once they get Victor Oladipo back in their lineup, writes Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer.
  • It has been up-and-down season so far for Denzel Valentine, who was out of the Bulls‘ rotation until late November. As Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago notes, Valentine has been playing his best ball of the year recently, making at least three 3-pointers and scoring in double-digits in each of his last three games. The 26-year-old shooting guard will be a restricted free agent at season’s end.

Celtics Aren't Candidate To Trade For Kevin Love

Wizards’, Cavs’ Trade Exceptions Expire

A pair of traded player exceptions expired on Monday, as the Wizards and Cavaliers didn’t find a use for their TPEs. Washington’s exception was worth about $3.39MM, while Cleveland’s was worth $2.76MM.

Both trade exceptions were generated in last December’s three-team trade involving the Bucks, Cavaliers, and Wizards, which saw George Hill sent to Milwaukee and John Henson and Matthew Dellavedova land in Cleveland. The Cavs generated their exception as a result of sending Sam Dekker to the Wizards, but never ended up using that TPE.

The Wizards, meanwhile, created a $5.45MM trade exception in the deal by sending Jason Smith to Milwaukee. They did actually use a part of that exception this past summer, using it to absorb Moritz Wagner‘s $2.06MM in their deal with the Lakers. Washington didn’t use the rest of the TPE, however.

The Cavs still have three traded player exceptions available, though the most valuable one is worth just $1.54MM, so they’re unlikely to be used. The Wizards have more options — they have four TPEs left, including a $5MM exception that doesn’t expire until July 7, 2020.

For more information on traded player exceptions and how they work, be sure to check out our glossary entry on the subject and our full list of available TPEs.

Kevin Love Interested In Blazers

  • Speaking of Gallinari, the Trail Blazers are expected to pursue the Thunder forward, league sources tell The Ringer. O’Connor also hears that Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love would like to play for his hometown team in Portland.


Kevin Love Understands Trade Chatter

The Trail Blazers, Nuggets and Suns are some of the teams that might be interested in Cavaliers forward Kevin Love but his trade value has diminished due to his health and contract, Sean Deveney of writes. Love is in the first year of his $120MM extension and he’s experienced back issues after missing most of last season with a toe injury, Deveney notes. He also missed significant time the previous two seasons with hand and knee injuries. Cleveland’s haul for Love would likely involve a first-round pick, salary-cap relief, and perhaps an underachieving young player, Deveney adds.

  • Love isn’t sure if he’ll be dealt but he understands why there’s so much speculation regarding his status on the rebuilding Cavaliers, Tim Bontemps of ESPN relays. “I imagine, in a rebuild, it’s easy to look at it, especially when it’s down and out at this point, and say, ‘Hey, we want to completely reset the deck and go young,'” Love said. “I understand that. But despite that, whether it’s five months or five years, I’m always going to be able to come back to Cleveland no matter what, and I’ll always love the fans, and be part of this organization, one way or another.”