With the offseason beginning after the Cleveland Cavaliers’ championship victory, there are some unanswered questions for this team. One of those questions is what in the world are the Cavs going to do with Kevin Love. After an underachieving performance in the NBA Finals, where he averaged 8.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists while shooting 26% from three and 36% overall. It seemed the Cavs did better with Kevin Love not playing than when he did play. The one game Love didn’t play, game three, the Cavs won by 30. He didn’t perform well, to say the least.
It’s been obvious since he came to Cleveland that he’s the third option on the team behind LeBron and Kyrie. He’s averaged significantly fewer points and rebounds since leaving Minnesota and has lost that star-power he once had. This is a very similar situation LeBron had in Miami with Chris Bosh. His stats dropped, but they found a way to make it work. Some wonder if the Cavs would’ve been better off keeping Wiggins instead of trading him to Minnesota for Love. Maybe it’s time for Cleveland to look to move Kevin Love.
Why would the Cavaliers look to move Kevin Love? I mean, they just won the title, so everything must be fine; they don’t need to change anything. Not exactly. The Cavs are the best team in the East and will continue to be as long as LeBron is on the team. Could they get even better by trading Kevin Love? Love doesn’t fit well with the team, and you can tell by looking at his lowered averages. It seems he doesn’t fit well with being the third option on a team.
The Boston Celtics have wanted to bring Kevin Love to their team for years. If the Cavs are looking to trade Love the Celtics should be the first team they call. The Cavs have reportedly shown interest in Avery Bradley. If the Celtics through a package together of Bradley, Sullinger, and their 3rd overall pick in the NBA Draft, would that be enough to persuade the Cavs to send Love their way? The Celtics may not even want to trade that much for Love after his postseason performance. But if this trade does happen, the Cavs would add an All-Defensive First Team player, a center with room to improve, and the third pick that could be a game-changer for the Cavs. They could draft a guy like Dragan Bender to fill in Love’s spot, add another wing with Jaylen Brown, or add some more scoring with Jamal Murray or Buddy Hield. The Celtics would get the star they’ve been looking for and the Cavs would get younger and potentially better in the long-run. Many believe Kevin Love would flourish in the Celtics system.
What about the Knicks? Perhaps a Carmelo for Love swap? Add a few more pieces in there and you could have a deal. LeBron can team with his best friend Melo and Kevin Love can be the top option in New York with recently acquired point guard Derrick Rose. Both teams would win in this situation. Both teams get stars in return and LeBron can get to team with his best friend.
Or what if the Cavaliers do nothing? I mean, they did win it all with Kevin Love on the roster. Even though Kevin Love didn’t show up during the finals, except for game seven, it happens. Players have bad performances and it’s understandable. Although it was the finals, you shouldn’t trade a player based on a stretch of seven games. Perhaps making Kevin Love a bigger part of the offense and giving him more room to play his game would allow everything to fix itself. It’s a simple solution.
Tyronn Lue spoke highly of Kevin Love when asked about his situation with the team. He said,
Oh he’s going to be here. I mean, without Kevin Love, we wouldn’t have gotten to the Finals. You know, he had a great series against Detroit, a great series against Atlanta, a great series against Toronto. You know, with the way Golden State plays, and the positions they put you in, it was just a tough series. It’s the same with Channing Frye. He did a great job of getting us to that point, but it’s a tough series for him to play in because they play small, and it was tough for us matchup-wise. But Kevin Love was great for us all season long. Kyrie missed 30 games this season, and Kevin and LeBron carried this team the first 30 games of the season. Then throughout the playoffs, those first three rounds, he was big. Then in Game 7, after hearing all the negative talk, he comes into Game 7, has 14 rebounds, a big stop on Steph Curry at the end of the game. So Kevin Love is going to be here, we want him here, and he’s a big part of what we want to do going forward.
It seems Kevin Love will be back in a Cavaliers uniform next season, but you never know. A blockbuster trade could come Cleveland’s way and would allow them to part ways with Love. Love has been in trade rumors ever since coming to Cleveland but hasn’t been traded. Once free agency hit a year ago, some expected him to sign elsewhere, but he returned to Cleveland. Cleveland should hold on to Kevin Love, and continue to work and grow with what they already have.