With LeBron James departed for the second (and probably final) time, the Cleveland Cavaliers are left with the scraps of a team that was built for him.
The roster is the same, but the team sure isn't.
Once again, the franchise is playing for the lottery just a few months off of a long postseason run. Now, their sights are on the future, with Collin Sexton and Larry Nance Jr. filling our the bulk of their future hope.
Then there's Kevin Love, who's place with the team has never been such a mystery.
After inking a big contract extension, and committing to stay on-board even after James left, he seemed ready to lead the new-look Cavs to a new identity... though, did he really know what he was getting himself into?
12 games in, with just one win on the board, the Cavs are the worst team in the NBA. Worse still, their young guys are failing to impress so far.
This desperation is convincing some that Love will soon be sent for some additional picks/young talent. And, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, the market for Love might just provide that.
“I’ve talked to general managers out there who are interested in trading for Kevin Love, right now,” Windhorst said. “Maybe not this moment, but they maintain in trading for him this season, if he’s healthy.
“The Cavs would be able to get pieces for him. I don’t necessarily think they’d be great pieces. When you have a guy under a $100 million contract who is injured, you worry about whether you’d have to ‘incentivize’… it’s what’s known as ‘incentivizing’ where you’d have to add something to the deal like a draft pick or something to sweeten the pot for a team to the player off your hands.”
Windhorst continued, saying that "incentivizing" might not even be necessary.
“As far as I can tell, in talking to people around the league, that would not be the case for Kevin Love,” he said. “In other words, the Cavs would be able to get return for him. That said, are you going to get good young players, draft picks, stars back? That’s a discussion for another day.”
No matter what, they'd get something.
“The Cavs could trade Kevin Love in 15 minutes, if they want to."
Nobody is sure when we'll see Kevin Love take the court again this season. Due to foot surgery, he's been ruled out for at least six weeks. Though, some are questioning if we'll see him at all.
And even if he returns in close to that amount of time, given he stays healthy, it is very possible he might be traded before then. A team like the Lakers might be willing to give up a young guy if it meant reuniting Love and LeBron.
The market exists and the Cavs will be getting desperate.
It's almost too easy to connect the dots here.