With the Oklahoma City Thunder dealing Russell Westbrook to Houston, is a Cleveland Cavaliers trade of Kevin Love the next big trade to happen?
Before the ink could even dry on his latest contract anyone and everyone has tried to trade Kevin Love out of Cleveland. Now the Thunder have executed two blockbuster trades. These trades may have a ripple effect for other teams to go out and acquire good players. With this a trade of Kevin Love could be the next domino to fall.
Kevin Love has four years remaining on a $120 million dollar deal. While this is quite a bit of money still owed to Love, there are four other centers with higher contract values. Love’s $30 million average salary is second only to Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Kevin Love only appeared in 22 games last season. This is his fewest since the 2012-13 season in which he played in 18 games. The fact he has not appeared in more than 60 games in since 2015 may be a deterrent to teams looking to acquire the five-time All-Star.
What it really comes down to is exactly how the Cavaliers view themselves. Last year was a completely lost season. An injury to Love early in the season derailed any hope towards even fighting for the playoffs. Assessing last season for the Cavaliers becomes hard because of this. Prior to the season Cleveland believed they were closer to competing rather than being one of the worst teams in the league. While that may not be entirely accurate, that mindset suggests that they would rather retain Love than deal him.
A team would have to approach the Cavaliers with quite the haul to acquire Kevin Love. Love is one of only a few veterans who have experienced success on the roster. With all the youth on the team having players like this is important. They can help guide the younger players as they develop and adjust to the NBA game.
Is it a foregone conclusion that Kevin Love is gone? No. But it is also not out of the realm of possibility.