The Cavaliers are reportedly entertaining offers for Kevin Love, but don’t expect the Sacramento Kings to show any amount of interest in a trade.
While the Cleveland Cavaliers have likely been open to trading veteran forward Kevin Love for a long time, they finally made it official on Friday. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that the Cavs are “expressing a willingness to listen to offers” for the five-time All-Star. While there hasn’t been anything reported officially, it is possible that the Sacramento Kings have interest in acquiring Love, and could theoretically be willing to negotiate given the rough start to their season.
Sure, there have been injuries that have contributed to their issues, but their dreams of a three-point shooting big man stretching the floor and creating space offensively have crashed and burned (looking at you, Dewayne Dedmon). Love would fill that need as well as bring even more championship experience to Sacramento.
But there is a handful of factors working against the possibility of such a trade, and it is extremely unlikely that it will ever happen. Here’s why:
Love is in the first year of a $120 million contract that will pay him through the 2022-23 season. The Kings front office has recently given big paydays to Buddy Hield and Harrison Barnes, and have upcoming rookie extensions to make to both De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley. There is also the issue of Bogdan Bogdanovic’s contract expiring in about six months.
Paying all of those players and filling out a solid roster around them would essentially be impossible. Thus, a trade for Love would likely involve Bogdanovic, which would thin out the Kings’ guard play and deplete the second unit of a scoring spark that it desperately needs.
The contract will look even uglier as time goes on. No one wants to be giving $29 million to a 34-year-old Kevin Love.
Given their situation regarding injuries so far this season, it is unlikely that the Kings would make a commitment to a player who misses as much time as Love. He has played 60 or fewer games in 6 of his 11 career seasons, including each of the last four. Last year, he played in just 22 games.
Lack of Defense
One of the points of emphasis for improvement for the Kings this season was on the defensive end. We all knew that they could score, but they were the fifth-worst defensive team in the NBA last year giving up 115.3 points per game. They have improved this season and find themselves in the middle of the pack, allowing just 108.6 per through 21 games.
Love’s best defensive days are far behind him, and he was never a lockdown defender to begin with. Some of Sacramento’s best defensive performances this season have come from Richaun Holmes and Nemanja Bjelica, both of whom would relinquish serious minutes should the Kings add Love.
There is no official rumor of Sacramento being interested in trading for Kevin Love.
Alas, these ARE the Kings. This is the same team that passed on Luka, that has been a laughing stock of the league for a decade, that has missed the playoffs 13 straight years and counting.
These are the “Kangz”. Making the correct decision has never exactly been their forte, so don’t be completely surprised if they make a push for Love.