NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Kevin Love's Value, Cavaliers Future

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIIJuly 15, 2020

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MARCH 10: Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots a free throw against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on March 10, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. 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. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Kevin Love has spent six seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he's signed through the end of the 2022-23 season. However, it's not a guarantee that he'll be there until the end of that contract.

The Cavaliers are likely still several years away from being a contender in the Eastern Conference, at least. They have some talented young guards on their roster and acquired center Andre Drummond in a trade with the Detroit Pistons earlier this season. Plus, they'll continue to add young talent through the draft. So, does Love fit into Cleveland's plans?

Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com recently wrote that the Cavaliers "still want him around" and think he'll be a "positive influence" during their rebuild. However, it's also possible they would struggle to trade him right now even if they wanted to.

"The league sees him in a different way—an oft-injured 31-year-old forward with a bloated contract whose best basketball is in the past and may become unhappy in certain situations," Fedor wrote. "The trade offers have reflected that. Until his value, league-wide and internally, more closely aligns, it's hard to see a trade."

The Athletic's Seth Partnow also doesn't believe the Cavs are likely to trade Love, who is set to make $31.3 million each of the next two seasons and $28.9 million in the final year of his contract in 2022-23.

"The 'trade him for value' ship has to have sailed barring a stunning resurgence," Partnow wrote. "What would the asset cost even be of moving off of that deal? There's no way I would advise that for a team in Cleveland's position."

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Although Love is set to turn 32 in September and may not put up the same types of numbers he did early in his career, he's proved he's still a solid player. This season, he averaged 17.6 points and 9.8 rebounds in 56 games. He also stayed healthy after injuries limited him to 22 games in 2018-19.

The Cavaliers aren't among the 22 teams participating in the 2019-20 season restart in Orlando, Florida, so Love will have plenty of time to get ready for 2020-21. It also gives time for Cleveland to determine how it wants to construct its roster around players such as Love before the next season arrives.

It may be unlikely that the Cavs are legitimate NBA title contenders by the end of Love's contract, but it's still a possibility that the rebuild moves along quicker than expected and its young players develop faster. At that point, they'll know they can rely on Love, who won the championship with them in 2016 and knows what it takes to go on a successful playoff run.

If they don't, Love clearly has knowledge he can pass on to the Cavaliers' youngsters to help them in the future.  

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