It seems like the Cavs may be keeping Kevin Love around.
Despite a rocky tenure in Cleveland and enough outbursts to warrant bailing on him, the Cavs seem committed to Kevin Love for a few reasons. The veteran forward has struggled to stay healthy for a lot of his career, getting worse the last few years. After he signed a new deal after the 2018 season, his value plummeted to an all-time low, making it impossible to move him. Not only did his play drop off, and the injuries mount but his new contract made it impossible to find a trade partner for him.
So if the team wants to rid themselves of him, that leaves a buyout, something that doesn’t appear to be likely. Sam Amico of HoopsWire even spoke about the possibility of a trade happening with the Cavs and Love, but he was quick to point out the same concerns that we mentioned. Amico writes;
Opposing general managers reached by HoopsWire seem to believe that the Cavaliers won’t be able to trade Kevin Love, given his contract, age and injury history.
“Not happening, probably not even if they attach a young player or pick,” one said.
Instead, most believe Love and the Cavs will reach a buyout agreement, either ahead of next season or at some point during the season.
So a buyout then. Just like we suggested. Except, maybe not. Assuming Amico’s source is correct about no trade market existing for Love (the rest is speculation, not a report), then maybe another report from Spencer Davies of BasketballNews.com may help reveal the Love-Cavs situation better. When speaking about how the Cavs feel about Love’s attitude in recent years, Davies reveals a source told him that the team isn’t bothered by it.
The source added that if Love was a drain on the organization and had a poor attitude indicative of these “very highly visible” moments that the Cavs would be thinking about going in another direction. However, they do not see that as the case.
So what does this mean for the Cavs and Kevin Love?
It very much feels like the Cavs are not interested in a buyout situation for Love, especially if they don’t see his attitude as a problem. If that’s the case the team may be committed to him, for at least another season(ish) or so.
This may be for several reasons. The first is obvious, Koby Altman actually believes Love can help the team moving forward. An unlikely but possible theory, sure. The second theory is that Altman wants to try and build up Love’s value anyway he can, and hopes he can trade him for something, even if just cap relief. The third may be more ego-based. It’s very possible that if Altman does buy out Love, the cap hit, and the fact that it’s Altman’s biggest deal with the Cavs going up in flames may be too much for him to bear. It could also be the last straw for Dan Gilbert and he may finally pull the chord on Altman’s tenure as Cavs GM.
This offseason is a big one for Altman, and while he’s constantly moving pieces around like one of those street vendors who make you guess which of the three cups the ball is under, the fact is most of his trades have netted nothing of value long-term for the organization.