Kevin Love dodged a bullet and stayed put with the Cleveland Cavaliers after last week’s NBA trade deadline. However, don’t rule out the possibility of the Power Forward being shipped during the summer.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Love still has a lot of trade value. “Despite his past and recent shoulder woes, Love holds extensive value not only because of his history of production but also because he still has three guaranteed seasons left on his current contract,” said Stein.
Playoffs will decide Love’s fate…
There is increasing belief the forthcoming playoffs will be the ultimate acid test for Love, who has little experience of playing in the postseason. If the Cavaliers fail to win a championship, and if LeBron James is unhappy with Love’s production, expect a trade to go down by July.
Cavs couldn’t complete a trade for Love (prior to the deadline) because of the team’s high expectations. “Some rival executives increasingly believe that given the Cavs’ expectations in such a trade and the complexity of moving a star in midseason, it’s more likely that Cleveland seriously considers Love pitches in June or July, after it sees how the postseason plays out as well as what new coach Tyronn Lue gets out of the former All-Star in the playoffs,” revealed Stein.
One thing is for sure: Tyronn Lue taking over as head coach has helped Love’s cause. Last night, against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Love posted 29 points and 12 rebounds as the Cavs beat Thunder in their own backyard. Love is definitely looking increasingly comfortable and isn’t restricted to just a spot-up shooter and rebounder, a role he has performed since joining the team last offseason.
If Kevin Love does help the Cavaliers win that maiden championship, the power forward could have found a long-term home. At this stage, it all boils down to the postseason.
— First Take (@FirstTake) February 16, 2016