Kevin Love Trade Rumors: Cavs Want 1st-Round NBA Draft Pick for PF

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2019

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 7: Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers on December 7, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Cleveland Cavaliers are likely sellers this season as they continue to rebuild in the post-LeBron James years, and one obvious trade chip is veteran power forward Kevin Love.

But moving Love may not be as fruitful as the Cavaliers hope. Jason Lloyd of The Athletic reported: "The Cavs are asking for a first-round pick in exchange for Love, one source with knowledge of the situation said. But teams are actually asking for a first-round pick from Cleveland just to absorb the final three-and-a-half years on his deal."

Love is in the first year of a four-year, $120 million contract that will run through his age-34 season. That's a hefty salary to pay for a player who is beginning to show signs of decline.

The veteran power forward is still an effective player, averaging 15.7 points and 10.5 rebounds while shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 35.4 percent from three. He'd be a solid addition to most contenders given his ability to handle the stretch-4 role and crash the boards.

Lloyd reported, "One league executive, whose team has not discussed a Love deal with the Cavs, believes they may eventually be able to get a first-round pick for him, depending on how much salary the Cavs are willing to take back."

Lloyd pointed out another factor to consider: Oklahoma City's Danilo Gallinari would offer a similar impact, is making $6 million less than Love this season and is on an expiring contract.

Add it all up, and it can be difficult to find a natural suitor for Love. Portland is often cited as a possibility, given that he grew up in Oregon, but the Trail Blazers have Carmelo Anthony at the 4, where he's been playing well.

Lloyd listed Boston and Dallas as logical suitors as well. But to make the money work, Boston would likely have to move Gordon Hayward (17.4 PPG, 6.3 RPG), who has been very good this season.

The Mavericks would have a fun frontcourt and scary offense by adding Love. But would they be willing to move Tim Hardaway Jr. and one of Dwight Powell, Seth Curry or Delon Wright to make the money work, all while potentially trading a first-round pick?

The more logical suitors might be teams on the fringes of the playoff conversation looking to add another star player to get them over the hump. Phoenix would make some sense and could offer Tyler Johnson ($19.2 million), Frank Kaminsky ($4.7 million) and draft assets to make the deal work.

Washington is another fun possibility. While the Wizards defense would be poor, the team would be a blast to watch on offense, and it could move off Ian Mahinmi ($23.7 million), C.J. Miles ($8.3 million) and draft assets.

Again, though, those teams may prefer Gallinari. In fact, Cleveland may not get much traction on a Love deal until Gallo is traded (if the Thunder shop him, as expected). It will be a fascinating situation to monitor leading up to February's trade deadline.