Kevin Love has only made 4 appearances this season, but still, everybody’s talking about a potential trade that could send the 30-year old away from the Cavs just months after inking his signature on a 144.3 million dollar contract extension that’s supposed to keep him at the Q Arena through 2023.
Even though the power forward has been in the shelf nursing a foot injury for the last couple of months, the former Champion has drawn some interest around the league from playoff-hungry franchises.
Still, according to reports, an NBA executive has referred to him as a “dinosaur”, and it’s not going to be easy finding a team willing to absorb such a massive deal on an aging big man that hasn’t played since the start of the season.
Love is set to make his return following the All-Star break around the third week of February, but still, there are a handful of teams that may pursue him via trade prior to the deadline, and today we’re going to let you know about them.
5. Utah Jazz
Just to be clear, the Utah Jazz hasn’t inquired about Love’s availability, at least that we know of, but this move could be a turning point for both franchises, as the Jazz is in desperate need of firepower and the Cavs crave youth and assets.
Donovan Mitchell has regressed quite a bit and the Jazz have struggled in the offensive end of the floor so they could pursue Kevin Love and David Nwaba by sending away Grayson Allen, Derrick Favors, Thabo Sefolosha, 2019 first-round pick (top-12 protection in 2019; top-10 protection in 2020; top-eight protection in 2021; turns into second-rounders if not conveyed), according to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report.
4. Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers have been on a roll lately, especially on their own turf, where they own a 16-7 record en route to securing the 7th seed in the Western Conference, but they’re still a couple of pieces away from being considered as a legit threat.
Having said that, they have enough role players and spare parts to make this deal appealing for the Cavs, as they could take Love’s contract off their books by sending away Al-Farouq Aminu, Zach Collins, Seth Curry, a 1st and 2nd round and more players that could match Love’s deal.
3. Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets have been quietly trying to pursue more firepower since the start of the season, and even though they haven’t been as aggressive as you’d expect, they could still pull the trigger and make a blockbuster deal that could help them secure home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
With the Nuggets sitting at the top of the Western Conference even despite their injuries, they could trade for Kevin Love by sending the Cavs Trey Lyles, Paul Millsap, and a future 1st round pick.
2. Charlotte Hornets
The Charlotte Hornets are on the verge of making the playoffs even despite lacking true talent and a capable support cast around Kemba Walker, so adding Kevin Love could really enhance their roster as they face yet another 1st round exit.
Naturally, they may struggle to pile up enough assets to make the move appealing for the Cavs, but they have already shown their interest to trade for the All-Star. In order to get him, they would have to trade away Malik Monk, Willy Hernangomez, Frank Kaminsky and at least a 1st round and 2nd round pick.
1. Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks have also inquired about Kevin Love’s availability, and with them sitting at the 14th spot in the West, but being just 3.5 games behind the 8th seed in their Conference, they may be quite aggressive in trying to pursue the big man to put together a nice run.
Dallas looks quite improved when compared to last season and adding Love may not harm their chances for the future, but they would have to send away Wesley Matthews, Dwight Powell, a first round pick and a couple 2nd rounders in order to get him.