Kevin Love Trade Rumors: Cavs Would 'Love' to Package Star and Pick During Draft

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 19, 2018

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) points after he scored during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in Washington. The Cavaliers won 106-99. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly interested in packaging All-Star Kevin Love and the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft as part of a trade.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski (h/t Sagar Trika of Blazer's Edge), Cleveland would "love" to send Love and the pick out for a star player on draft night, but he noted that the package likely wouldn't net the return the Cavs are hoping for.

Per Wojnarowski, Love's value has diminished, and the Brooklyn Nets' first-round pick acquired from the Boston Celtics in the Kyrie Irving trade wasn't as high as hoped.

The 29-year-old Love is coming off a strange season.

He was limited to 59 regular-season games due to injury, but he averaged 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per contest and was named an All-Star for the fifth time in his career.

Love then averaged a double-double during the playoffs with 14.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, but he shot just 39.2 percent from the field and 34.0 percent from beyond the arc.

Head coach Tyronn Lue insisted on playing Love at center at times, and Love's lack of comfort at that spot seemed to adversely impact his play.

Love is a great fit alongside LeBron James in theory since he is a big who can stretch the floor and knock down open shots created by LeBron's drives to the basket.

He didn't make his shots with enough consistency last season, though, and the Cavs suffered because of it despite reaching the NBA Finals for a fourth straight year.

Maintaining the status quo may not be enough to convince LeBron to re-sign with Cleveland in free agency, which is why trading Love and the No. 8 overall pick has the makings of an attractive option for the Cavs.

Cleveland could net a promising, young player with the eighth pick, but the odds of landing an immediate difference-maker are low considering the likes of center Deandre Ayton, guard Luka Doncic and forward Marvin Bagley will almost certainly be off the board before then.

The Cavs' No. 1 priority currently should be to entice James to re-sign, and that will almost certainly require a big move that lands them another star player.

Love's days in Cleveland may be numbered regardless of what LeBron does, though, since the Cavaliers could be compelled to go into rebuild mode if James leaves.

There is no doubt that Love's play has dropped off since his heyday with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and reports of the Cavs wanting to trade him suggest he is now viewed as a supporting role player more than a top-flight star.