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With the season already looking lost and the Cleveland Cavaliers perhaps soon turning an eye to the draft lottery, the Kevin Love era could end before it really began.
The Cavs knew that could be a possibility entering the season.
It’s mere speculation at this point, but it’s speculation that makes sense. If the Cavs are going to be bad, they may as well go all in. They may as well see what assets they can get for their lone All-Star.
The Cavs are 0-3 following Sunday’s home-opening loss to the lowly Atlanta Hawks. And it wasn’t just a loss. It was an embarrassment. If things keep going this way, the Cavs will have an entirely different look after the All-Star break — coaching staff, roster, you name it.
Is it too soon to write off the season after three games? Sure is.
Is it too soon to start thinking about a contender surrendering young promise for Love? Sure isn’t.
Love signed a four-year extension this summer, but that actually makes him more appealing to other teams. Unlike stars such as Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler, a free-agent-to-be, Love wouldn’t be just a one-year rental. He’s under contract for another four years.
So the extension actually makes Love more appealing to opponents.
As the Washington Post reported:
“Keep an eye on Kevin Love as the potential first major trade chip to be moved in the non-Jimmy Butler category. Yes, Love signed a long-term extension with Cleveland this summer. But as Blake Griffin showed last year, that just means he could be more attractive to another team as a trade chip.”
Who might have interest in Love?
Oh, that’s easy. Everyone knows LeBron James will soon run out of patience with his younger Los Angeles Lakers teammates. Everyone knows LeBron knows and likes Love, and Love clearly misses LeBron.
The Lakers undoubtedly have Love in the back of their minds, if not the front.
Other potential suitors: the Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets, who have loved Love for some time and had all but pulled off a trade for him in the summer of 2017.
Also, the Boston Celtics have lots of draft picks, and a trade for Love would undoubtedly make them feel a lot better about their championship chances.
Does this mean the Cavs are done with Love? No, not at all. Everyone wants an All-Star power forward. He’s a good starting point for any team. But at some point, the calls will start coming, and the offers may bee too good for the rebuilding Cavs to refuse.