Kevin Love is entering the second season of a four-year, $120.4 million contract he signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2018. Although the 32-year-old is still a very solid player, he is currently spinning his wheels with a team that won’t even contend for a playoff spot at any point in the foreseeable future.
With the departure of Tristan Thompson to the Boston Celtics and the Cavaliers’ ultimately failed efforts to get rid of Andre Drummond, people have started to speculate regarding what Love’s future in Cleveland looks like. On paper, he seems like a player who would be far better-served on a championship contender.
At the moment, two such contenders exist: the Celtics and Golden State Warriors.
Although Boston just signed Thompson to a two-year, $19 million contract, he is unlikely to fix what ailed them in the middle last season.
In 2019-20 Thompson averaged 12.0 points and 10.1 rebounds per outing, which looks good on paper, but didn’t quite translate into on-the-court meaningfulness. At best he’ll simply serve as a big body off the bench to throw at the likes of Joel Embiid and Bam Adebayo, but he’s not someone the opposing defense would have to worry about.
Last season Love averaged 17.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in 56 games. He also shot 45 percent from the field, 37.4 percent from beyond the arc and 85.4 from the free throw line. Obviously Love comes with some defensive deficiencies, but as an overall player he has the potential to be far more impactful than Thompson.
If not Boston, the Warriors would also make a ton of sense for all parties involved. Obviously Golden State just drafted James Wiseman out of Memphis, but he is unlikely to be a significant contributor at this stage in his career.
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 23, 2020
About two weeks ago there was some chatter regarding the Warriors possibly being involved in a three-team deal that would land them Love, but nothing materialized on that front.
Prior to this year’s draft, Stephen Curry was asked what area his team needed to improve in. The Warriors star didn’t hesitate.
“I think we could use some size, but for the most part it’s just trying to fill out the roster and get us as much depth as possible,” he said at the time.
Paulina Gretzky has taken Masters victory celebrations to a new level. https://t.co/K1yliTiGao
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 22, 2020
Love would definitely address Golden State’s big man dilemma, while at the same time providing an additional offense weapon now that Klay Thompson is out for the year.
The bottom line here is that the Cavaliers have little use for Love at this juncture. The franchise is trying to get younger, and he’s getting older and slower with each passing season. A trade would be in everyone’s best interest.
It’s not a lock that Love will ultimately end up with Boston or Golden State, but him getting traded at some point before his current deal is up seems like a virtual certainty.