Before the 2019-20 season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cleveland Cavaliers had the worst record in the Eastern Conference standings. The Cavs were 19-46 and dealt with loads of dysfunction.
While things in Cleveland got better after J.B. Bickerstaff took over for John Beilein, the Cavs still have a bevy of moves to make in the second post–LeBron James era before they can say they are back on the upswing.
The first move for Cavs general manager Koby Altman to make this offseason is to trade All-Star power forward Kevin Love. The longer Cleveland waits to trade Love, the lower his value will dip throughout the NBA.
Love made $28.9 million this season and he has three years left on his contract after this campaign officially ends.
Cleveland isn’t going to get a big return for Love because he’s no longer the game-changer who can put a team over the top at this stage of his NBA career. This isn’t the Kevin Love the Cavs acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves back in 2014 when he was a superstar in the league. This is a Love who will be 32 years old in September, has undergone a number of surgeries since arriving to Cleveland, played in hundreds of playoff games, and endured the physicality of four consecutive NBA Finals.
Altman and the Cavs can’t be greedy when it comes to Love. They have to take the best offer that is presented to them, even if it’s one that might not net them a grand return.
Love appeared in 56 games for the Cavs before the season was suspended. He averaged 17.6 points and 9.8 rebounds while shooting 45.0 percent from the field, 37.4 percent from beyond the arc and 85.4 percent from the free throw line. Love will seemingly always be linked to the Portland Trail Blazers in trade talks since he played his high school ball at Lake Oswego in Oregon.
While Love will always be a Cavs legend for helping the team win the 2016 championship over the Golden State Warriors, it’s time for the franchise to move on from him and get younger. Love is better off playing for a contender since he’s getting older and Cleveland will benefit from getting off Love’s contract.