Now that LeBron James is a Los Angeles Laker, the Cleveland Cavaliers are open to trading power forward Kevin Love, according to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic:
Despite insistence from the organization that they are not interested in trading Love, multiple sources from around the league insist they are indeed open to moving him. It makes perfect sense to deal him now.
The Cavs’ first-round pick for next year is top 10 protected, meaning they can keep it if it falls within the top 10. Otherwise, they’ll lose it to the Atlanta Hawks as compensation for the Kyle Korver deal. Moving Love and launching a full-scale rebuild would almost assure the Cavs of finishing in the top 10 of the draft.
As Lloyd noted, the Cavs have indeed insisted that they aren’t looking to move Love, but it would make little sense to not at least explore the market for the five-time All-Star.
At 29 years old, Love still has good years ahead of him. If he isn’t traded, Love could put up huge numbers playing for the Cavs this year; the last time he played on a team without LeBron James, he averaged 26.1 ppoints, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. His number have dipped during his four years in Cleveland, but he may still be capable of putting up monster lines. It’s hard to say whether he’s regressed at all or whether his reduced statlines were solely due to playing next to James.
Last season for the Cavs, Love averaged 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game while shooting a scorching 41.5 percent from 3-point range.