NBA exec: Cavs would need to be ‘blown away’ to trade Kevin Love
The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly open to trading Kevin Love now that LeBron James is signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, but teams that are thinking about low-balling them with a trade offer probably shouldn’t waste their time.
Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer spoke with a well-known NBA executive who questioned how motivated the Cavs are to part ways with the player who is now their biggest star.
“Unless they get blown away by an offer, I think they’ll open the season with Love,” the executive said.
Love is entering the final year of his contract, and he’s set to make $24 million. He also has a player option worth $25.6 million for the following season, but he seems unlikely to exercise it. According to the exec Pluto spoke with, the Cavs know they should be able to get more for Love if they wait until the trade deadline next season.
“Because I think he’ll be more in demand during the season by the trading deadline,” the executive said. “Kevin could have a very good year for the Cavs being the focal point of the offense. He is a talented player.”
Love was an All-Star last season and averaged 17.6 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. His scoring in Cleveland has never been anywhere close to the 26.1 points he averaged in his final season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Love could boost his stock a ton if he puts up big numbers with LeBron gone. He’ll only turn 30 this offseason, so he should have an opportunity to sign one more max contract.
The Cavs are making an effort to convince teams they are not looking to deal Love, and that could be more about timing than anything. They don’t want to look like they’re blowing everything up and starting from scratch now that LeBron left, as that would weaken their stance in trade talks. Even if they don’t plan on keeping Love through next season, denying that he is for sale makes sense from a business standpoint.