Kevin Love Trade Rumors: Cavs Hope to Move Veteran PF, $60M Remaining on Contract

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 23, 2021

Cleveland Cavaliers' Kevin Love (0) plays against the Washington Wizards during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, April 30, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
AP Photo/Ron Schwane

The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly "hope to move" veteran power forward Kevin Love during the 2021 NBA offseason.

Kelly Iko of The Athletic reported Thursday the $60 million remaining on Love's four-year, $120.4 million contract over the next two seasons is a motivating factor in the Cavs' desire to trade him.

Love was originally scheduled to play for Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics, which could have helped bolster his trade value after an injury-plagued NBA campaign, but he withdrew from the roster, citing his continued recovery from a right calf injury.

"I am incredibly disappointed to not be heading to Tokyo with Team USA, but you need to be at absolute peak performance to compete at the Olympic level and I am just not there yet," the five-time All-Star said.

The 32-year-old UCLA product averaged 12.2 points, his lowest total since his rookie season with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2008-09, along with 7.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.3 threes across 25 appearances for the Cavaliers in 2020-21.

In the past, Love was a double-double machine with the ability to stretch the floor offensively. He averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 2.5 threes in 77 games for Minnesota in 2013-14.

Now, questions about his recent injuries combined with his age will make his contract a very tough sell on the trade market in the coming weeks. Cleveland will surely have to attach considerable assets to move him, though he could still offer help for a contender seeking an offensive boost.

In May on the Posted Up podcast with Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, he mentioned a return to Oregon, where he played high school basketball, as an intriguing possibility:

"Who wouldn't want to play with Dame Lillard, first of all. Dame, he's special. He's amazing. I claim Portland when they ask me where I'm from. It's where I spent all of my formative years. I grew up in Portland. When people ask where I was born, obviously I say L.A. But Portland is always going to be a special place in my heart. Whether it be at the end of my career, whether it be in six months, or whatever it may be, if I was wearing a Portland jersey, that's special. That's playing at home."

It could be a fit on paper as the Blazers continue to seek roster changes around the backcourt tandem of Lillard and CJ McCollum, but it's unclear whether Love is a target for the team's front office.

Love is a holdover from the Cavaliers' 2016 championship squad, but the franchise is now focused on a rebuild that will continue with the No. 3 overall pick in Thursday's 2021 NBA draft.