The Cleveland Cavaliers might be ready to end the Kevin Love experiment.
With the snap of a finger, the Cavaliers are the hottest team on the market ahead of the February 18 NBA trade deadline. Love’s name is front and center in the rumblings, which shouldn’t shock many given his odd fit and performance with the team, success or not.
Despite a recent minor shoulder injury, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe noted Friday that the Cavaliers have Love on the block and a price in mind:
Re: Kevin Love. League source says the Cavs have been shopping him around, but that the asking price is very high.
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) February 13, 2016
Again, not the biggest shock in the world. Love averages 32.1 minutes, 15.7 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. The first two averages are actually down from Love’s awkward first season with the Cavaliers. Granted, LeBron James and Co. are first in the Eastern Conference at 38-14, but that doesn’t change the fact this is a team that has already canned one head coach and had potential issues in the locker room and Love simply cannot seem to avoid the injury bug.
One of the teams that continues to come up in the conversation is the Boston Celtics. It’s no secret general manager Danny Ainge wants to make a splash if possible, though his team sits third at 32-23 and a serious threat in the Eastern Conference already. According to Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald, though, the Celtics aren’t a team to keep looking at when it comes to a trade:
League source says nothing is “happening” in Celtics attempt to get Kevin Love via three-team mega deal.
— Mark Murphy (@Murf56) February 13, 2016
These things change in a hurry ahead of the deadline, of course. Boston has the biggest stockpile of trade assets of any team in the Association and it just so happens that the roster’s biggest weakness right now resides underneath the basket. Maybe that’s why the alleged rumors popped up in the first place, but the whole saying about smoke and fire has to somewhat apply here.
Regardless, the Cavaliers look like one of the top teams to watch at the deadline. While the asking price might be high, another franchise—rebuilding or contending doesn’t really matter—might want to buy into the idea that a change of scenery would get Love back to his old self. He simply hasn’t meshed well in Cleveland, which is fine, but other franchises won’t not pick up the phone if the Cavaliers come calling.
With Love just 27 years old and a proven star in the right system, a front office thinking it has the right system might help the Cavaliers unload the veteran forward. Such a possible line of thinking in mind, don’t expect the Cavaliers to stop working the phones ahead of the deadline now that they have allegedly started.