The Cleveland Cavaliers are a mess once again after LeBron James deserted town for the second time in his career. Posting a league-worst 1-11 record, Cleveland is trending towards a top selection in the upcoming NBA Draft and a full-on rebuild. The Cavs’ fire sale may include trading franchise cornerstone Kevin Love before the NBA’s Feb. 7 trading deadline.
Despite coming off surgery on his left foot on Nov. 2, there is interest in Love, the five-time All-Star who signed a massive four-year, $120 million contract extension with Cleveland in July.
ESPN’s NBA insider Brian Windhorst recently discussed the Love trade rumors during an appearance on The Really Big Show on ESPN 850 WKNR. He insisted the Cavs could easily move Love.
“The Cavs could trade Kevin Love in 15 minutes, if they want to,” Windhorst said.
Love’s foot injury complicates matters for trade discussions.
“It’s really unclear as to what this timeline is going to be,” Windhorst said. “When he first had the injury, I was told 4-6 weeks, but they weren’t expecting surgery. Now that he’s had surgery, it could be way more than that. I don’t know what Kevin Love’s situation is going to be this year.”
Because of Love’s injury, the Cavs would probably not receive a great haul in return from an opposing club if they trade the forward now.
The Cavs would be able to get pieces for him. I don’t necessarily think they’d be great pieces,” Windhorst said. “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.
The Cavs would be wise to wait for Love to return to full health before dealing him—assuming they actually want to get rid of their best player—allowing the big man to showcase his talents. The 30-year-old averaged 19 points and 13.5 rebounds in four games this season.