Kevin Love trade is on Cavaliers' minds after LeBron James' exit, report says
Despite previously insisting they'll retain Love, a rebuild may be in the Cavs' future, after all
Well, it happened: LeBron James left the Cavaliers for the second time in his career as he's joining the Lakers in Los Angeles. Unlike last time, LeBron leaves on much better terms as he delivered on his promise to bring a championship to Cleveland and most of their fans are not so bitter and possibly OK to see him move on to the next chapter in his illustrious career.
However, James' departure leaves the Cavs in limbo. He was the reason they were constant Finals contenders and the roster was built with that in mind. With players like Kevin Love, J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson, and Jordan Clarkson still under contract they could theoretically make a playoff run with the leftovers. Use the money that would have gone to James, sign some veterans and try to remain competitive.
The alternative is to rebuild. Earlier in the summer, Jason Lloyd of The Athletic is reporting a change in that mindset.that the Cavaliers wanted to continue building a winning team no matter what James did. This meant that trading Love was never an option on the table. However, now that James has made his decision,
They're certainly no longer championship contenders. Despite insistence from the organization that they are not interested in trading Love, multiple sources from around the league insist they are indeed open to moving him. It makes perfect sense to deal him now.
The Cavaliers are in a really rough spot right now. Winning is hard and recovering from losing the NBA's best player is even harder. No organization wants to voluntarily make itself worse and potentially do something it can never recover from. Especially one like the Cavs. The last time they tried to build without James it went horribly wrong.
However, they also have a clean slate. The Cavs don't have to trade Love, but if an offer for young assets appears and they have a chance to jumpstart a rebuild, moving him could indeed be on the table. Love is talented, but he's nothing close to untouchable. The Cavs might not be actively shopping him, but there's no reason to believe they aren't at least taking phone calls about him.
This is a very important summer for Cleveland. The Cavs have to decide if they want to try and continue winning in a very depleted East, or just hit the reset button. The decision they make over these next few weeks could impact how they move forward for the next few years.
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