Cleveland, OH—According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Cleveland Cavaliers are willing to trade Kevin Love for the right package of players and draft picks. Love signed a four-year, $120 million extension with the Cavs in July and the front office was seemingly committed to building around him, but that line of thinking has changed after an 8-29 start. George Hill is gone, Kyle Korver is back in Utah and JR Smith is most likely on his way out. Trade scenarios involving Love are speculative at best since the five-time All-Star has missed almost the entire year due to injury. To further compound potential trade negations, his new contract can only be moved between January 24th and the trade deadline on February 7th. In light of the many reports circulating, Kevin Love made his position very clear to Cleveland.com: he has zero desire to leave Cleveland. In an interview posted on their website, Love talked about his reasons for wanting to stay in Cleveland and how they go beyond basketball.
“I’ve loved Cleveland since I arrived in 2014 and feel like this is my home now. My wife and our kids spend the summers here. We do head out west to visit family but never really leave Cleveland for more than a few days. The lifestyle here just fits who I am. It’s amazing. I know a lot of people knock the city of Cleveland and I just don’t get it. There are so many fun things to do on Lake Erie, tons of amazing apple butter festivals in the fall, endless antique shops within an hour of downtown and who doesn’t like Walleye fishing? This place is a paradise to me.”
Trading Love is probably the best move for Cleveland. During the off season, general manager Koby Altman insisted the Cavs would not tank and could compete for one of the lower seeds in the East. His optimism faded quickly as their putrid start revealed the 2018-2019 Cleveland Cavaliers are miles away from postseason contention. The Cavs are also unlikely to compete for a playoff spot in the next few years and it would make sense for Altman to pull the trigger on a deal now. Even with Kevin Love’s departure from Cleveland seemingly a matter of when, the 30-year-old former All-NBA forward remains steadfast in his commitment to city. He recently put his lake front house up for sale and plans to move into a downtown condo with his family.
Love continues to develop projects in the downtown area of Cleveland and expressed a desire to be closer to his work. A joint restaurant venture with legendary chef Marcus Samuelsson will be opening at 6416 Detroit Avenue in 2019 and he continues to grown his Kevin Love Foundation, which benefits the mental health of Cleveland residents. “I’m here for the duration. Good, bad or ugly. Hopefully we draft well this upcoming June and sign an impact free agent over the summer. I do hear all the trade chatter, but my only focus is on apple butter, getting healthy and bringing the residents of Cleveland another championship.”