As predicted, the Golden State Warriors won the NBA Finals 2017, 129-120, and one man's performance was sorely missed by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kevin Love had a miserable shooting on Game 5 and finished only with six points, again prompting rumors that when the Cavs press the revamp button Love will be the first to go.
This in spite of the fact that Love is generally in tip-top shape as The Ringer is convinced the player just registered his best season performance ever with the Cavaliers. He averaged in double figures both in the scoring and rebounding department and no doubt was instrumental in the Cavs' back-to-back Finals appearance.
But it was what happened in the Finals that lingered in memory and it will be hardly surprising to finger Love as among the key factors that led to the Cavaliers losing the Larry O'Brien Trophy. And almost automatically, the rumors of the Cabs trading Love will again resurface.
Per Sporting News, "if the Cavs lose (and they did), be prepared for the Love trade rumors to ramp up again. But how come it's always Love that is the subject of trade rumors concerning the Cavaliers? Truth to be told, it hard to imagine Cleveland will let go the likes of Kyrie Irving, JR Smith, Tristan Thompson and even LeBron James. All players have proven they do matter especially against the GSW, which the Cavs will need to slug against in more years to come.
Love, on the other hand, seems to always become ineffective when pitted against the Golden State Warriors so if the Cavaliers hope to avoid a repeat of the Finals 2017 Love will be the one to move out.
More so if the plan by Cavs coach Tyronn Lue is to reimagine the team's offensive and defensive games, trading Love is the right thing to do. The most immediate benefit is the Cavaliers freeing up their tight salary cap concerns.
Shipping out Love will allow the Cavs to repurpose the team. "Maybe Cleveland could trade Love for a package of role players that give Lue different lineup options," CBS Sports suggested, adding the likely acquisition of Paul George from the Indiana Pacers easily come to mind.
But getting a superstar like George will only bring Cleveland to a full circle since the Pacers star will only become a free agent two NBA season from now. And that means the Cavs will need to absorb the high-paying contract George has locked in with Indiana, which will unnecessarily cap out the team.
Or the Cavaliers can send Love to the New York Knicks in exchange for Carmelo Anthony. This seems a deal that is easy to make happen as Anthony is close pal to King James. But Sporting News said Carmelo may want to think twice before donning the Cavaliers jersey. What could be waiting for him is what Love had endured - becoming the scape goat each time the Cavs are routed, especially by the Golden State Warriors.
However, it might be best for the Cavaliers to worry more of the trade rumors concerning LeBron James and not of Kevin Love. Lately, speculations are rife that King James, convinced that his legacy has been secured, is again planning a switch to another team and his cross-hair is aimed at the LA Lakers or the Los Angeles Clippers.