Rumors are that the Cleveland Cavaliers are keeping Kevin Love long term, and that’s the right call for the health of the franchise.
A lot of fans want to move on from Kevin Love because ESPN and other sports outlets have conditioned fans to believe that “draft picks” have a higher value than All-Star caliber players, especially in a rebuild. That logic has never made much sense to me. Love is a proven commodity, you know what you’re getting. A draft pick is always just hype and potential. There are so many times a pick has come into the league with all the hype in the world and completely bottomed out. So why give up something you know is valuable for something that more than likely won’t be?
It has never made sense. The NBA lottery system almost guarantees that if you are the worst team in the league, you won’t get the No. 1 overall pick, which is done to try and detour tanking. Playoff teams, like the late ’90s Spurs and modern-day Warriors, are teams that were/are in the lottery. So clearly teams loaded with talent can easily snatch the top overall pick just as easily as anyone else. Why bother clearing out your roster?
Just find reasons to sit players instead if you want a lottery pick.
Theories like “The Process” don’t work. The 76ers are no closer to winning a title now than they were when they were led by Andre Iguodala. Ben Simmons was supposed to be this new era player who would dominate the league. We’re still waiting on that. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard weren’t taken in the top ten of their drafts and are better than Simmons.
Keeping Kevin Love works. It just does. Look at the roster, it’s clearly built to compete in 2020-2021. Collin Sexton Jr and Kevin Porter can score with ease. Love is still a double-double machine who can stretch the floor. Cedi Osman can do everything you want. Andre Drummond is still a beast on both ends of the court and there’s plenty of roleplayers on this team that if they can be brought back at a discount, would be invaluable. Not to mention potential trades do exist, in theory, to help expedite the process.
The team needs to hit on this draft. With rumors that the Cavs aren’t looking at a guard, that means eyes are (hopefully) looking at Obi Toppin or Deni Avdija as wing players. The idea in Cleveland is that this team is competing for the division in 2020-2021. Because of that, it’s obvious why they’re keeping Love and acquired Drummond.
Love is a leader on the team and has shown to be able to rally people around him. Especially in this post-pandemic world, where Love has embraced his issues with his anxiety. He’s able to handle himself now publically in a way he wasn’t before. He’s emerged as a real leader and has shown to have a bond with Sexton that man thought impossible.
Love may not be the 25 points/20 rebound guy from his days with the Timberwolves, but those were hollow stats. He was doing all the work, so of course, his numbers were inflated. Love was mostly healthy this past season and put up 18 pounds and 10 rebounds a game. This was his best statistical shooting season since he left Minnesota.
Trading Love for the sake of trading him, even if all you get back is a late-first-round pick is nonsensical and is only parroted by people that are stuck in myopic headspace fueled by ESPN hot takes. Don’t believe trading love for a 25th pick in the NBA draft makes sense because “at least its something”. Odds are that player won’t be in the league by the time Love finishes his current deal. So why bother?
You’re supposed to collect assets, not give them away for next to nothing.