The Cleveland Cavaliers will gauge the trade market for all-star forward Kevin Love this offseason, according to a source close to the organization.
With Love suffering a concussion in Game 2, his status for Game 3 is unclear, as he will be required to enter the league’s concussion protocol. If the Warriors win the series in the absence of Love, it’s possible that the former UCLA forward has already played his last game in a Cavs uniform.
According to Chris Mannix of The Vertical, Love could prove to be the scapegoat if the Cleveland Cavaliers lose the ongoing NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors. “Two wins to go for Golden State, and perhaps two more games for Love in Cleveland. A humiliating defeat needs a scapegoat, and Love walks around these days with a wide target on his back. If changes are demanded this offseason, Love will be the asset pushed in trades needed to make them. As one league executive told The Vertical, “If they go out like this, I’m betting on a Kevin Love auction.”
Indeed. There were several reports that Boston Celtics made a run at acquiring Love prior to February’s trade deadline. According to Zach Lowe, Boston weren’t willing to give up their prized assets for the all-star forward. “Cleveland and Boston had trade talks for Love at the deadline, though they died with Boston offering a low-ball package the Cavs wouldn’t consider, according to several league sources. Even if Boston’s interest has faded, someone will call Cleveland about Love around the draft (June 23),” Lowe wrote for ESPN in the last week of March.
Kevin Love for Carmelo Anthony?
This is one potential trade that could gauge some interest. Remember LeBron’s plans to form a Super Team with buddies Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwayne Wade? The New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers could essentially do a straight-up trade that would send Anthony to the Cavs and Love to New York.
While Anthony has three years left on his max contract, Love has another four. Therefore, the deal could work well for both parties involved and won’t impact their existing payrolls. Anthony, who has a player option for the 2018-19 season, would have to waive his no-trade clause to accept the move. According to ESPN’s Stephen A Smith, Anthony would “do anything” to team up with James.
With Robin Lopez and Kristaps Porzingis coming off a decent season, the Knicks could find it hard to fit Love into their front court unless they find a way to trade Lopez and play Porzingis at the 5. The Cavs, on the other hand, would have no such issues as Anthony and James are too versatile and can play both the 3 and the 4.
Regardless of what happens in the remainder of the NBA Finals, expect Kevin Love to be traded this offseason.