After a 5-15 start, the Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly ready to look into moving their most obvious trade chip.
The Cavaliers are ready to listen to trade offers on All-Star power foward Kevin Love, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Teams mentioned as possibly still interested in acquiring Love are the Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets.
“I’m told that Cleveland is ready now to listen to offers on Kevin Love as we get to that December 15 date and then the February trade deadline,” Wojnarowski said. “If somebody blows them away with an offer, this is a team clearly in a rebuild. Kevin Love is still player who, look at our teams who are all playing tonight who have all had interest in the recent past with him. Boston. Portland. Denver.
“He’s going to be a player very much in demand and I think there are going to be a lot conversations between Cleveland and teams all over the league about Love.”
Moving closer to that Dec. 15 date is significant to the Cavaliers’ ability to trade Love because that’s the date in which teams can trade away free agents signed over the summer, opening up a whole new range of players that can be included in a deal.
What will Kevin Love’s trade market look like?
The 31-year-old Love is currently averaging 16.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game while shooting 44.6 percent from the field and 37.6 percent from deep. He remains one of the better rebounders in the league and fits the classic profile of a floor-stretching big men, though he comes with his detractors on defense.
Still, it’s usually pretty easy to fit an offensive presence like Love into a lineup, and there are a lot of teams out there — including the three mentioned above — that could use him.
Currently playing in the first year of a four-year, $120 million extension signed before the 2018-19 season, Love will come with three additional years of control after this season, with an annual cap hit around $30 million.
The Cavaliers, whose struggles this season hit a new peak with reports of players unhappy with the coaching style of head coach John Beilein, clearly have plenty of reasons to trade away their former All-Star. It’s somewhat unlikely Love would be around for their next real contender if he stays, and even more unlikely that he will be a player worth $30 million in cap space to them by then.
If a team calls them up with an offer of significant draft capital or young players, it should be hard for the Cavaliers to say no.
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