Kevin Love doesn’t want to be in Cleveland anymore.
The Stop, in Game 7 against the Warriors back in 2016, was one of his finest moments as a Cavalier. However, LeBron James is gone; Kyrie Irving has left us and this current team is not very good with a record of 5-19. That is quite the change from the squad that made the NBA Finals four times in a row and won a championship in a magical 3-1 comeback.
Thus, I don’t blame Love for his lack of interest while playing for the Cavs. Despite my liking of K Love (as a player and person), at this stage, I believe he is more of a cancer to this young team than an asset. Yes, there are plenty of veterans that serve more as role models over producers. At age 31 and in his 12th season, Love doesn’t appear to be quite there yet. It looks like he still wants to produce, but in a different uniform.
Now, this is not to disparage Love’s character as a person. I want to make it completely clear that I still respect and admire him.
The problem is that if I’m a general manager for an opposing team and I look at Love’s disposition in Cleveland, I couldn’t help but think that maybe he is done for his career in basketball. That it is not just a Cleveland thing, but a career thing and I wouldn’t want that presence on my team trying to contend for a title. Plus, I would have to give up at least a first-round pick…
Now, that may not be the case. This year, Love is averaging 15.7 points on nearly 44% shooting and 10.5 rebounds. Good numbers – all down from career averages. It’s more so his poor demeanor on the floor that is so noticeable.
Love might just be done with Cleveland and ready to move on to a new chapter of his career. If the Cavs could get a first-round pick in exchange for Love, that would be awesome. Maybe another young player as a cherry-on-top?
The current contract for Love extends through the ’22-’23 season and is around 30 million a year (shown below). Thus, the Cavs don’t actually have to trade him at all and have leverage.
At his best, Love could certainly help a contending team. It’s a matter of if the veteran is able to reach that level of play anymore. The same level that lead Cleveland to its first championship since 1964 in what was absolutely magical.