The Cavs will not do a salary dump for Love. They want …

The Cavs will not do a salary dump for Love. They want some combination of draft picks and young, ascending players for Love. Now, in order to get that kind of haul, which many around the league continue to scoff at, the Cavs would likely need to take back a bloated salary. In that kind of package, the draft pick would be considered the Cavs’ sweetener in exchange for the other team’s bad, lengthier salary. It’s clear Cleveland’s view on Love doesn’t align with the rest of the league. That’s normal. The Cavs like him. They don’t regret the signing. They were expecting a monster season before his emotions intervened and 2019-20 went off the rails under John Beilein. But circumstances surrounding Love’s down year have changed and he’s set up to rebound. It could allow him to alter his trade value.

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But the Cavs want to compete in 2020-21. This is Year 3 of the rebuild, the season everyone in the organization, including owner Dan Gilbert, has been pointing toward in hopes of taking the next step. Andre Drummond’s arrival at the deadline accelerates the rebuild timeline. Bickerstaff is locked in as head coach. The Cavs are expecting internal improvements from the core of youngsters and many of their top rotational pieces will be back. If the Cavs are going to take that next step and at least get closer to the playoff picture, they will need Love, their best -- and most important -- player. Plus, what’s the point of dumping Love? What would the Cavs do with that extra salary space? In a weak free agent class, there’s no one to sign, so no rush to move on from Love -- unless the Cavs get a quality offer that makes them a better team in the short and long term.
There was also the game in Toronto around New Year’s when Love pounded the bench and momentarily pulled himself from the game. According to sources close to Love, that was a breaking point, letting his trade desire be known to those around him. That moment also led to Love being fined and lashing out at Beilein and the organization for the improper way the fine was delivered.
Nothing has changed on the Love front. Even though he was peeved at various points this season -- openly pouting, venting and verbalizing his misery -- that was during a time when Beilein was still around and the team looked like a dumpster fire. Love has a phenomenal relationship with Bickerstaff that goes back to their days in Minnesota. Bickerstaff will have a better understanding of how to keep Love engaged and happy.
Would Love still prefer to play for a contender? Of course. It’s incredibly challenging to go from four years of chasing titles to two straight of chasing lottery ping-pong balls. The Cavs being more competitive, just as they were in the 11 games under Bickerstaff before the league shutdown, helped. How the Cavs start 2020-21 -- if Love is still on the roster -- will be key. But enough has changed since his desire to be traded that it won’t be harmful to keep Love around and the veteran won’t force his way out.
Those are the kinds of numbers the Cavs continue to focus on. They see plenty of value in keeping Love, whose bloated contract, injury history and age play into being the centerpiece of trade chatter. If the Cavs get what they deem a fair offer, they will pursue some combination of draft picks and young players -- as unrealistic as some NBA officials consider that demand. That’s the rub. The Cavs’ view of Love doesn’t align with the rest of the league. Until that gap narrows, Love is likely to stay in Cleveland.
The thing is, the reality of Cleveland’s situation may prevent that from happening. Right now, Love, Drummond and Larry Nance Jr., all staples for the Cavaliers’ big man rotation account for roughly 52% of the team’s payroll at $68.7 million. Next season, Nance will be here under contract and the team will likely have both Love and Drummond here as well, per league sources. Drummond plans on opting into his $28.7 million player option and Love will be hard to move with the NBA salary cap expected to go down due to the coronavirus pandemic. With that in mind, all three aforementioned players will combine for $78.1 million total next year.
The thing is, the reality of Cleveland’s situation may prevent that from happening. Right now, Love, Drummond and Larry Nance Jr., all staples for the Cavaliers’ big man rotation account for roughly 52% of the team’s payroll at $68.7 million. Next season, Nance will be here under contract and the team will likely have both Love and Drummond here as well, per league sources. Drummond plans on opting into his $28.7 million player option and Love will be hard to move with the NBA salary cap expected to go down due to the coronavirus pandemic. With that in mind, all three aforementioned players will combine for $78.1 million total next year.
If the Cavs get an offer they deem worthy then they will consider it. But they still see him as a valuable piece, one that threads the needle between their present and future. They aren’t going to give him away for nothing. They aren’t going to accept a salary dump either. Sources maintain it will take a combination of picks and players for the Cavs to send him elsewhere. Get ready for more Love trade rumors this summer, especially given the dearth of impact free agents available. Listening and accepting are two different things.
As for trading Love for “peanuts,” that wont happen. The Cavs continue to value him. They don’t regret the contract extension. Plus, they have no urgency to dump salary. The potential restricted free agent market dried up with contract extensions for Buddy Hield, Domantas Sabonis, Jaylen Brown, Dillon Brooks and others this season. The one restricted free agent with appeal is Brandon Ingram. Multiple sources expect the New Orleans Pelicans to match any offer sheet. So, that path, one that changed with the Drummond addition, is no longer available.
As for trading Love for “peanuts,” that wont happen. The Cavs continue to value him. They don’t regret the contract extension. Plus, they have no urgency to dump salary. The potential restricted free agent market dried up with contract extensions for Buddy Hield, Domantas Sabonis, Jaylen Brown, Dillon Brooks and others this season. The one restricted free agent with appeal is Brandon Ingram. Multiple sources expect the New Orleans Pelicans to match any offer sheet. So, that path, one that changed with the Drummond addition, is no longer available.
Dwight Jaynes: Don't know how many times I need to say this but a Kevin Love trade was not in the cards because HE DOESN'T WANT TO PLAY IN PORTLAND!!!! That is from multiple sources. And at that contract price, dealing for him would be stupid.
Jason Lloyd: The only one that I know definitely equated to just a salary dump. Portland offered Bazemore and Whiteside, which essentially would’ve matched Kevin’s salary. But both of those are expiring contracts and the Cavs would’ve received no real assets in return. Portland eventually sent Bazemore to Sacramento.
Most teams were telling the Cavs they’d need to include assets just to get them to take Kevin’s contract. The Cavs were asking for a first-round pick. No one even came close to that. I’d expect them to resume trade talks on Kevin this summer.
That didn't make sense for a Cavs team focused on asset accumulation at this point. "Kevin and [agent] Jeff [Schwartz] wanted a trade, but I think both knew it probably wasn't going to happen," the former GM said. "It's something they'll push for again in the summer. I think he'll be traded this summer since the free-agent market is so bare and the draft doesn't look like anything special. Teams need to add talent somehow."
"There's a lot of bad contracts they could have traded him for. The Sixers would have traded Al Horford for him, but why would Cleveland do that? They want expiring money and picks," the former GM said. "Portland could have made a deal work, but for what? They would have really had to look at their cap space and tax money for next year and asked how far a trade for Love would really push them. Would it make them a top-four seed in the West? I don't think so."
I don’t know what Cleveland does with Kevin Love. There was no traction on any deal for Love, who is owed about $90 million over the final three years of his contract. That’s a relationship that needs to end, but it’s unclear how it does.
Cleveland, entering Tuesday, had nothing percolating on the Love front, which isn’t much of a surprise with three years and $91.5 million left on his contract after this season. The Cavaliers will almost certainly have to wait until the summer to resume the search for a trade partner willing to absorb that sort of financial commitment when Love is 31 and regarded in some corners as injury-prone.
The Clippers have been aggressive, no surprise considering they have the $11.5 million Mo Harkless contract and a first round pick to deal. Considering if LA doesn’t trade the pick it can’t deal another one until we colonize Mars, there is some urgency in the LA front office to get a deal done. The Clippers have kicked the tires on Kevin Love and could grab disgruntled Kings center Dewayne Dedmon, but neither are preferred options. There is some interest in Tristan Thompson in LA’s front office, per sources, as LA’s coaching staff has fretted about the team’s rebounding, particularly when Ivica Zubac is off the floor. Wing depth is a consideration for the Clippers, with Robert Covington and Iguodala among the possibilities discussed.
The Blazers seem satisfied to nibble around the edges at the deadline (Trevor Ariza has been remarkably useful) and try to make the playoffs with the current group. For what it’s worth, Love wasn’t all that enthralled with the idea of returning home to Oregon anyway, per sources.
Maybe that strong offer the Cavs aren’t currently expecting -- a combination of picks and players, perhaps both -- comes Thursday. If that’s the case, that would obviously change their plan. But the Cavs, sources say, will not do a salary dump -- even if other teams view a Love deal as them helping the Cavs, not the other way around. Cleveland isn’t interested in attaching a pick to Love. The franchise still views him as its best player, the most valuable trade chip. “Since the second I got here I’ve been in those talks,” Love said with a smile. “It’s easy for me, I’ve settled into who I am as a basketball player and a person, so I’m easy.”
The Twitter-sphere has already dealt him to Portland, Miami, Phoenix and Denver at various points. That’s one of the many things that makes this time of year tough on guys. “It always is,” Love admitted. “In the past it was a little bit different feel because I knew 100 percent nothing was going to happen with me. It’s just a weird time every year with teams that feel they like they have a chance or are that one piece or two pieces away. The trade deadline comes in every sport, I’m sure guys are kind of sitting there waiting, have half a bag packed. You never know.”
The Cavs appear to have very little market for Kevin Love right now, sources say. Everything is malleable until Thursday's deadline, but nothing appears serious on the Love front at this moment. The wild card was always Phoenix. The Suns are hard to predict. Rivals struggle to get a feel for the Suns' objectives.
For lottery-bound groups, this time of year is brutally tough because the primary decision-makers have to do what’s best long term. More than a few guys in that locker room sense the organization wanting to make a big shakeup, that the front office is “trying to trade Kevin and Tristan.” While it’s their job to block out any noise and focus solely on basketball, they are also human. On top of that, losing is really hard, especially home blowouts against lousy teams. There is such a thing as an acceptable loss in a rebuilding season. Saturday night, however, was not one.
So if Love’s short-term future may actually be with the Cavs, how would that sit with him? “I will be happy if I’m still here,” Love said following the Cavs’ 124-112 loss to the Washington Wizards on Thursday night. “I fully plan on continuing to help these guys, continuing to help -- Tristan (Thompson), myself, Larry (Nance Jr.) these guys, being a leader with all the veterans. And this place, Cleveland, the fans, they’ve been really, really good to me. So, yes.”
While he’s not unhappy every day, plenty of aspects this season -- and Cleveland’s general direction -- have “driven him crazy,” according to a source. He’s been most irritated with team’s “selfish” playing style and hasn’t handled that growing frustration in the best, most mature way. He’s admitted as much. It’s also fair to wonder whether the Cavs’ thinking has shifted as well. From the very beginning, they’ve wanted to be “blown away” by an offer for Love, believing he has immense value both in the short term and long term. They believed he would be a positive influence on the young players, showing them the way off the floor while also helping alleviate some of that pressure on the court.
Everyone is wondering the same. I could see both. I know it's not the answer anyone wants, but the Love situation is complex. The most challenging questions to answer, in no particular order, are these: Have his actions this season -- on and off the court -- necessitated a move? Is the relationship with him and the Cavs so dire that keeping him around would actually be harmful? Would he be understanding and stay locked in if the Cavs didn't trade him in a few weeks? [...] Internally, the Cavs were hoping his value would rise, believing Love would rebound and put up big numbers in Beilein’s system after an injury-riddled season a year ago. There were even some who felt the best offers would come after this season.
Part of the barrier is the Cavs’ view of Love doesn’t match the NBA’s view of him. Love wants to be traded. That has been his preference for at least a month. He wants to play for a winner, with teammates that are at the same stage of their career -- or at least closer -- when it comes to knowledge, experience and talent. The growing pains, both with young players and Beilein trying to make the transition from college to the pros, have worn on Love. He's still trying to manage his frustration. Sticking around beyond the deadline could cause him to explode again.
Love certainly could help the Blazers, or Pacers, or Rockets. But that contract is hard to match up in a way that makes sense for Cleveland, which understandably is asking for a lot in return. “I don’t think Kevin has a lot of value,” a Western Conference executive said Monday. “The contract is obvious, but you know he is going to miss games with the toll on his body… I don’t see teams taking Kevin on (without) at least taking back a first-round draft pick or multiple seconds.”
With the Blazers (16-23) sliding so far in the standings, it’s hard to envision them making that kind of move at the moment. What’s more, there is serious skepticism from key people close to the Blazers that Love will ever find his way to his home region team in the Northwest.
Love apologized Tuesday for some of his recent behavior on the court, then went out and scored 30 points in a loss to the Detroit Pistons. He finished 12-of-15 shooting from the field -- but attempted just two shots in the fourth quarter as the Cavaliers blew a 12-point lead. He is averaging 16.4 points and 10.3 rebounds on the season. "The Cavs have communicated to him, 'Help us help you,'" Windhorst said. "Do you want to get traded? Then come in and have a good attitude every day and put up numbers. And there have been periods this season where Cavs has done that. But there have been several times this season where he's lost his cool a little bit, and we're all watching for it."
The Cavs want to trade Love, who is obviously unhappy in Cleveland, but he’s in the first year of a four-year, $120 million contract. The others who are on expiring deals are Tristan Thompson (arguably their most attractive trade asset), Matthew Dellavedova and Ante Zizic. Dellavedova has playoff and championship experience as a backup point guard, but he’s averaging 2.7 points and shooting 31 percent, including 12.5 percent from 3-point range.
Angel Gray: #Cavs Kevin Love addressed A LOT in media this morning. “I let my emotions get the best of me and I can’t do that. Starting on New Year’s Eve I wasn’t acting like a 31 yr old but a 13yr old.” “It’s been tough especially w/ record but I love my teammates and have to be better”.
The latest comes from ESPN insider Brian Windhorst, a native of Akron, Ohio, and former Cavs beat reporter. Windhorst addressed the Love situation on his podcast, The Hoop Collective. "He absolutely, totally wants to get out of there," Windhorst said. "It has driven him various levels of crazy to be there this season."
"I think there's teams that would do it," said Windhorst. "One of the things that's been remarkable to me as I've talked to some people around the league about Kevin in the last 48-72 hours is there's a lot of people who really, really value him and really like him, but the problem is because of the contract, it's a difficult to come up with a trade for. Because the Cavs are viewing trading an All-Star level player. The other teams are saying 'Yeah, he's a good player but we're taking on this money.' They think they're bailing the Cavs out."
Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love had a verbal altercation with general manager Koby Altman following Saturday’s shootaround, league sources confirm to cleveland.com. Love, the team’s franchise player, was unhappy with Altman’s decision to fine him $1,000 for an outburst during a 20-point loss against the Toronto Raptors on Dec. 31, 2019.
This is now the second time this season Love and Altman have had a talk about attitude, engagement and body language, sources tell cleveland.com. The first time, sources say, was in early December following a string of awful, disengaged single-digit performances by the five-time All-Star. After that first chat with Altman, ahead of Cleveland’s Dec. 11 home game against Houston, Love went on an impressive run, scoring double figures in eight of the next nine games. His attitude shifted as well.
Love, who has repeatedly been mentioned in trade rumors, would prefer to be moved before the deadline, sources say, but he has not yet demanded a trade. The Cavs aren’t in any hurry to move their best player and top asset, especially if they can’t get a deal they like, but they are willing to listen to offers. If Love asks out before the Feb. 6 trade deadline, that could change the organization’s thinking.
Love was fined $1,000 by the Cavs for an outburst on the bench on Dec. 31 in Toronto, sources said, and disagreed with the fine. He was spotted by cameras slapping chairs on the Cavaliers bench away from the team huddle in the third quarter of the blowout. He asked a Cavs coach to take him out of the game so he could cool down. During the next timeout, when a coach asked what was wrong, Love said he didn’t like how selfish the first unit was playing, sources said.

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The Cavaliers plan to start uprooting veterans on the roster to gather more draft picks and young assets. Clarkson, 27, is averaging 14.6 points per game, including a season-high 33 points on 12-of-27 shooting in Friday's victory over Memphis. The Cavaliers are projected to have more than $28 million in salary-cap space for free agency.
Sources say the Cavs didn’t feel confident about their chances of getting a first-round pick for Clarkson in this market, so they took a pair of future seconds -- a 2022 from San Antonio and a 2023 from Golden State, sources say. The move puts Cleveland about $5.1 million below the luxury tax threshold, which gives the team more financial flexibility when it comes to other deals. Make no mistake, more are coming between now and the trade deadline on Feb. 6. Players are already bracing for those shakeups.
Could I see it? I could see … I just don’t … What’s going to happen with us this summer? Or at the trade deadline? I just don’t know. It’s just tough because, and I’m not a religious guy by any means, but the old saying “You want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.” Listen, obviously it’s a tough go right now. We’ve got (six) wins. But in some ways, the grass isn’t always greener. You just don’t know how the shit is going to shake out. Ever. In anything.
Kevin Love: So could I see it? Yes and no. It’s tough for me to answer. If we got a year or two down the line — I don’t know what their plans are for me even in the short term. But if it got there and we weren’t getting any better, it might make sense for them to completely go young. Maybe it’s that way now. See? That’s the end of your article. With a question mark at the end.
Kevin Love will be one of the biggest names available. He's been linked to the Portland Trail Blazers (10-16) for years—in part because he played at Lake Oswego High School in Oregon. "Sometimes the obvious happens," a former Western Conference executive said. "Something like [Hassan] Whiteside, Mario Hezonja, [Anfernee] Simons, Gary Trent and a first. You have to give something to get something."
Sagar Trika: Lowe still thinks Cleveland will get a first round draft pick for Love. Mentions Portland as a suitor and says Phoenix might sniff around.
The Cavs are open for business, and that’s no surprise. The have seven players with expiring contracts, and they’re trying to recoup assets they lost during the LeBron James-era title chases. If you've paid attention, they did the same last season. Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson are veterans who could be on the move if the deal is right.
It is difficult for Boston to cobble together enough salary to add a major piece without including one of its core players. Boston does have Daniel Theis ($5M), Enes Kanter ($4.8M), all its own first-rounders and additional picks from Milwaukee and Memphis, but that's not enough money to target a player like the Spurs' LaMarcus Aldridge or the Cavaliers' Kevin Love -- unless Boston is willing to put Marcus Smart or Gordon Hayward in a deal, which is unlikely to happen.
Sunday, of course, is the first day players who were acquired in the offseason are eligible to be traded, even though Neil Olshey, the team’s top executive, said this week there is nothing brewing. That hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from heating up, which has included one report saying Kevin Love would prefer a trade to Portland. That rumor apparently reached the eyes and ears of Whiteside, who during Tuesday’s game against New York was shouting during play to Anthony that “Kevin Love doesn’t rebound like that!” “And Kevin Love doesn’t block shots like that, either,” Whiteside said Thursday when asked about the Tuesday exchange. “The trade talk … it don’t enter my mind a lot. I was more just messing with Melo. I’m not thinking about it. If we are struggling on defense and you want to (trade him), I mean, good luck. Good luck with that.”
As the Cavaliers figure out their direction under new coach John Beilein, Kevin Love is in limbo. He is the most notable veteran player on a team that is in a transition period, but he has three years and over $90 million left on his contract. As we reported in our Inside Pass on Monday, Love prefers a trade to a contending team. He has his contract extension, but that deal and the Cavaliers’ asking price is what is giving interested teams major pause, I’m told.
The Cavaliers are going to have a difficult time trading Kevin Love because of his mammoth contract, multiple league sources have told The Athletic. Love is in the first year of a four-year, $120 million extension he signed in the weeks after LeBron James left.
Love has been mentioned frequently, but is a question mark. There was a report that Portland is his favored destination, but I have not been able to substantiate that and, in fact, have been told by people close to him that the report is not necessarily true. And the other concern with Love – who is obviously a terrific player with championship pedigree – are his injuries. Over his last three seasons, he has played 60, 59, and 22 games. At an average salary of $30.1 million over the next three seasons, his availability is a concern.
Love would prefer to play for his hometown Portland Trail Blazers, according to multiple league sources. The Blazers make perfect sense as a destination for Love; they need help for Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum after the team has been decimated by injuries. Last week, Rodney Hood suffered a ruptured left Achilles tendon, joining Jusuf Nurkic (broken leg) and Zach Collins (dislocated left shoulder) on the sideline. Nurkic will return this season, and Love would be a terrific frontcourt partner because of his perimeter shooting and playmaking ability. Portland could then play big upfront, which would be valuable in a series against a team with a bigger frontcourt, like the Lakers. Or, it could go with Love at center, which could be useful against the Rockets, who often size down with P.J. Tucker at center.
"Nothing's changed," Love told ESPN after Cleveland's morning shootaround at TD Garden. "What I mean by that is, since I got here they've been ... since I f------ got here there's been talk of me being traded, so it's nothing different. If they decide to go that way, I've just got to know it's part of the business, or if we decide to go that way, it's part of the business." "Truthfully, I don't know how it's going to play out, because I see both sides," he added.
As the lone player over 30 on a roster featuring six players under 25, four players in their first or second-year and a first-year coach in John Beilein, Love's name stands out as Cleveland's most obvious trade candidate. "I imagine, in a rebuild, it's easy to look at it, especially when it's down and out at this point, and say, 'Hey, we want to completely reset the deck and go young,'" Love told ESPN. "I understand that. "But despite that, whether it's five months or five years, I'm always going to be able to come back to Cleveland no matter what, and I'll always love the fans, and be part of this organization, one way or another."
Cavaliers forward Kevin Love prefers a move to a contending team, league sources tell The Athletic. Cleveland has been open to engaging in discussions with teams, as ESPN reported on Friday. Love has three years and $90 million remaining on his contract after this season.
According to various reports, players like Dennis Schroeder, DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love could be made available via trade by their respective teams. The Knicks, per a source, are keeping their 'eye on a lot of players' as we enter trade season.
As NBA trade possibilities expand beginning Dec. 15, the Cleveland Cavaliers are expressing a willingness to listen to trade offers for All-Star forward Kevin Love, league sources told ESPN. Cleveland is open to the idea of moving Love before the Feb. 7 trade deadline should the Cavaliers find a requisite package of young assets and/or future draft picks, league sources said.
Alex Kennedy: The Cleveland Cavaliers are ready to listen to trade offers for Kevin Love, according to @Adrian Wojnarowski. The Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers have shown interest in Love in the past, as Woj noted, so perhaps they could be possible landing spots for him now.
His journey to the Trail Blazers was less complicated. Portland had a clear need for a four-man, and many rival executives believed the organization would target Oklahoma City’s Danilo Gallinari or Cleveland’s Kevin Love in a trade after the loss of Collins. But as the losses piled up, and its franchise star Damian Lillard clearly needed more support, Portland needed to acquire someone immediately. The Trail Blazers made the call to Anthony and his representative, and one question remained within Anthony: Is this real — or a waste of time?
Even with him, the Cavs are likely a long shot for a playoff spot in the East. But Love insists that he isn't forcing a change. "I've been committed to Cleveland since Day 1," Love said. "I know it's been a little shaky at some points. It's been really great at some points. But now I've found some semblance of balance in my life, not only on the court but away from it."
But going public with the details of his panic attack — and his ongoing involvement in the conversation about the need to take care of mental health — has not left Love feeling vulnerable. He's more at peace than anything else, and that's why the rumors that are out there aren't gnawing at him. "I'm just going to let the chips fall," Love said. "I know that this is a young team. I think I can help them. I'm going to do right by Cleveland, the organization. This is a league where teams want to rebuild, teams want to go young but certain teams are looking for a piece, a guy who's played in the finals, a guy who has playoff experience. I don't know what's going to happen, but I think it definitely lessens the burden and the anxiety."
After the departures of James and Irving, Love became the face of the franchise when he signed a four-year, $120-million contract extension last year. Cleveland, however, is a rebuilding team and there has been talk Love could be dealt to a team looking to make a championship push. “I know there’s talk about me possibly being the missing piece somewhere,” Love said. “There’s been constant chatter since I signed that I could be traded. It’s one of those things where I’m going to keep doing right by the team, by Cleveland and by the organization. If my number is called, so be it, but I’m going to stay true to my commitment and let the chips fall where they may.”
Point blank: Is there interest in dealing Love? “No. Not at all,” Altman said quickly. While Love is Cleveland’s most valuable trade chip, there are others. That list starts with five players on expiring contracts: Knight, Henson, Dellavedova, Tristan Thompson and Jordan Clarkson.
The Cavs continue to get calls about Love. The phone will likely ring throughout the season, up until the trade deadline and then again in the summer -- if he’s still in Cleveland that long. Signing Love to a lucrative four-year extension was Altman’s first big move, the tone-setter after James left for Los Angeles. Some scoffed at the decision, believing Love didn’t fit -- and still doesn’t -- on a young team not positioned to win for a few more years. The NBA is unpredictable, but Altman talks the same way he did more than a year ago -- seeing Love anchoring this turnaround.
While Love is Cleveland’s most valuable trade chip, there are others. That list starts with five players on expiring contracts: Knight, Henson, Dellavedova, Tristan Thompson and Jordan Clarkson. “We are still in evaluation mode with our team, with the new parts, the staff and the offense. We like our guys,” Altman said. “There’s no sense of urgency to rush to do anything. I think last year was a little bit different in terms of we knew we wanted to recoup a lot of different draft assets. Where we are now: We have great flexibility, we’re one of four teams that has over $20 million in cap space next summer, so we’re not in any rush to do anything drastic.”
He’s no longer the willing follower. He’s the quiet leader. While rumors constantly fly about his future, Love is exactly where he wants to be, where he chose to be two summers ago. He has no interest in that changing. “I do want to be here. I always have,” Love told cleveland.com in an exclusive one-on-one interview. “I say that knowing it’s the NBA and it’s a business. I think especially after seeing last year, the summer leading up to last year and this summer, the changeover is like unprecedented so you don’t know what is going to happen.
The Cavs’ stance on Love hasn’t changed. If the right trade offer comes they will certainly consider it. But according to sources, the Cavs have to be “blown away” with a package combining players and picks. While the phone continues to ring -- other executives trying to pry away the Cavs’ cornerstone -- the organization places great value, both in the short and long term, on Love’s far-reaching impact on the youngsters.
According to sources, Love even reported to camp early, another example of his all-in approach. It was “huge” to have him around for those few extra days, according to one member of the organization, and it wasn’t overlooked by coaches or teammates. Love’s learned over the years that everyone has their own leadership style. He’s not trying to emulate anyone else. He’s just being himself and it’s working well.
“If they decide to go completely young … and that could be the case, but it’s funny, my agent didn’t call me one time this summer to say, ‘Hey, you’re getting traded, there’s talks that this is happening.’ Of course, somehow it’s still out there and people are talking about, ‘Oh, Kevin would be great here or great there.’ I just keep it moving and try to do right by these guys because we have a good group.”
“It’s kind of like the same thing with rumors. I know things come up, you would see certain things or people would ask me and I would just be like, ‘I don’t know. I don’t have a call. Nobody has been having this conversation with me.’ Until that time comes just keep my head down and keep moving.” That’s what Love has done. A few days ago, while talking with teammate Matthew Dellavedova, it hit him -- He’s the oldest player on the roster.
Of course, Boston is a potential player in any trade negotiation because of its two young wings, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Tatum is likely untouchable, but with Brown entering a contract year and playing a similar position, he could be the centerpiece of a deal for Beal or Love. Even without those two, a package such as the Memphis pick, Boston’s own first and either Grant Williams or Romeo Langford would be a compelling asset package, one that would potentially tempt teams to swallow the rest of Hayward’s deal and send the Celtics a high-level starter.
Greg Swartz: Kevin Love on trade rumors: "There's always going to be that noise. That's going to continue this year because we do have a young team. I've got four years left on this deal. Until that time comes or if it ever comes I'm going to be me."
Love’s absence is no big deal. Head coach John Beilein said he was expected to connect with the team’s high-priced offensive centerpiece at some point soon. But it didn’t stop the trade chatter. Many around the NBA are incredulous when it comes to the Cavs' stance, especially with so many teams taking an all-in approach this summer, believing Golden State splitting up makes for a wide-open title race.
The answer still hasn’t changed. While it’s not wise to use the never term in this ever-changing league, the Cavs don’t want to trade Love. No, there aren’t any untouchables on this roster. Prized rookie Darius Garland would be the closest to that. If the Cavs are blown away by a Love offer and receive the package that meets their demands then, of course, they would consider it. It would be foolish not to. According to sources, the Cavs would want some combination of young players and draft picks. Not one or the other. Both.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are unlikely to trade Kevin Love this summer, but the Portland Trail Blazers have reportedly inquired in the past. Earlier this month, Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz described trading for the Portland-born big man as “well worth the risk” for the Trail Blazers. Following this speculation, Mike Richman reported that Portland inquired about the hometown hero, but the interest was not mutual from Cleveland (via Locked on Blazers):
“Last summer, the Blazers went into the offseason with very little of value. They had a bunch of big contracts with multiple years left. They didn’t have many enticing young players to make trades, they did not have a high draft pick to do things. But the thing they did have was a fairly large trade exception that was going to expire. And they spent much of the early part of the offseason calling around to teams trying to get them to give away big contract money so they could absorb it with that trade exception. And the Blazers were willing to pay a fat luxury tax and figure it out. One of the teams that they called last summer was the Cleveland Cavaliers… At that time last summer, the Cavs told the Blazers they did not want to make that trade.”
You’re not the only one sending the Kevin Love trade questions. But I don’t know how many other ways I can write this response before it resonates. Love is not one of the players the Cavs are looking to deal. They want him here. They believe his professionalism and leadership are important. He’s the kind of player any team should want around a young group because of the daily example he sets. Would the Cavs move him in the right deal? Sure, they would consider it. No one should be labeled untouchable this early into the rebuild. But each time the Love question is raised, the same response quickly follows. “How are we a better team without Kevin?”
I did a quick survey among five NBA executives asking in the abstract if they would trade for Love’s contract in a deal this summer without the Cavaliers adding additional value to sweeten the pot (for example: by Cleveland taking on a bad contract from the opposing team or by adding a draft pick in addition to Love). The five executives all said no, variously noting that the length of the deal, Love’s potential regression curve as a player because of age, and the uncertainty regarding his injuries as significant deterrents to such a move. Two of the executives noted that it only takes one team and one general manager to look back at Love’s productive history and think that it would be a valuable move. All of them noted that they still thought Love was a good, useful NBA player. But the overall tenor was that it would be difficult to move him on this contract for a positive return.
In order to try and ballpark a valuation on how under water Love’s deal is, I additionally crowdsourced from the executives what contract they thought Love would get on the open market if he was a free agent this season. Nobody thought he would get four years due to the age and injury history, with the estimates falling in the three year, $60-65 million range. Three executives said they would not go beyond two guaranteed years, but two of those noted that they would be willing to add a non-guaranteed third year (Paul Millsap’s deal came up as an example with both). When asked to specifically ballpark a four-year deal, executives put it in the $70 million range, given the significant diminishing returns of a potential fourth season at 34 years old. No one said more than $75 million. Therefore, it’s fair to say that NBA teams around the league see Love’s deal as about $50 million under water.
Six months after signing his massive four-year, $120 million contract extension, the Cleveland Cavaliers can legally deal their injured power forward if they so choose. According to sources, the Cavs' stance on keeping Love hasn't changed. They want him in Cleveland. They value what he can bring on the court when healthy and his leadership and set-the-tone work ethic behind the scenes has been very important. He wants to stay with the team as well.
Who are the next Cavaliers to get moved? Chris Fedor: This is the question that so many are asking. So let’s start here: There’s interest from other teams in All-Star power forward Kevin Love. Sources tell me that the Cavs have received calls about him. It’s the same thing that typically happens with him around this time of year. He's used to it. As I’ve written numerous times, it will take close to the perfect deal for the Cavs to pull the trigger.
Storyline: Kevin Love Trade?
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February 28, 2021 | 10:49 am EST Update
Brooklyn, which is clearly all-in on winning a championship, covets Drummond. But sources said three other Eastern Conference playoff-bound teams – Toronto, Boston and Miami – wouldn’t mind taking Drummond off the Cavs’ hand as well. “All of those teams in the East know they need an established and reliable big if they were to face Embiid or Giannis in the playoffs,’’ an Eastern Conference executive said.
With seemingly no inclination to spend money and pay the luxury tax and, with GM Jon Horst having virtually mortgaged the team’s future — he dealt three No. 1 picks (all unprotected) to acquire Jrue Holiday, the Bucks options are clearly limited. One player who could come at a small price and help them is Glenn Robinson III, who was recently released by Sacramento and whom the Bucks have shown interest in in the past. “I think he’s a solid player,’’ a player personnel official said of Robinson. “His shot is pretty good; his defense is pretty good. I think he’d be a handy pickup for a team like the Bucks looking for an off-the-bench guy.’’
Storyline: Glenn Robinson III Free Agency

Ray Allen interested in owning a Seattle SuperSonics stake

The founder of Girls Talk Sports TV, Khristina Williams, asked Allen’s interest in owning a Seattle Sonics stake. “So, I tell people when you believe in something or when you have a goal or idea. You write it down, and then you tell your friend or tell somebody you don’t know. The reason why you do that because you can’t run away from it. Cause a lot of times, and people don’t share their goals because they are afraid if they don’t accomplish them, they are a failure,” said Allen. “Even when you don’t accomplish them, you learned something. You have information, and then you go back to the drawing board. So, we have to give our desires and our dreams to the world to help us inspire. So, the signs tell us everything, and I have put stuff like that into the universe, like one day, I want to run a marathon, run a triathlon, I want to own an NBA team. There are small little things that push you into a direction or away from it.”
“I would love for Seattle to have a team, and I would love to be part of the ownership. When I left Seattle in 07, so many were disenchanted with the ownership, and the one thing that I told them was, this is something people all over the world in any city with a sports team. People were upset with the then owners, and I told them, listen, I wear Seattle on my chest, but I only wear it for a brief time. When I leave, this is your city. You always have to fight for your city, for your team, and the pride of what it is. You cannot lose a sports team in your city because it is a community resource. As an adult you have your frustrations and things that piss you off the dynamics, the politics, but we do things for the kids.
Storyline: Ray Allen NBA Owner?
February 28, 2021 | 6:15 am EST Update

Kevin Love unlikely to return before All-Star break

Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love is on this quick two-game trip with his teammates so he can continue to rehab a high-grade strained right calf, but the five-time All-Star is “unlikely” to return until after the NBA All-Star break, league sources tell cleveland.com.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 266 more rumors
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