The Cleveland Cavaliers could be busy before the Feb. 18 NBA trade deadline as they gear up for a potential NBA Finals matchup against the superior Golden State Warriors or San Antonio Spurs.
One player the team seems unlikely to trade is power forward Kevin Love.
“You’d have to go a long way to convince me that we’re a better team winning in the Finals without a player like Kevin on our team,” Cavs general manager David Griffin recently said on ESPN 850 AM in Cleveland, via ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. “We’ve never once put together an offer involving Kevin, nor have we taken a call on an offer for Kevin.”
Griffin didn’t entirely close the door on a possible trade involving Love, though.
“We think very highly of Kevin, and we believe Kevin thinks very highly of this situation,” Griffin said. “But I can also tell you that we have been very clear from the beginning that there’s no such thing as untouchables.”
Love undoubtedly is underperforming this season. He wasn’t expected to put up superstar numbers while sharing the ball with so many other quality players, most notably LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. That said, Love is averaging 15.5 points per game, shooting 41.6 percent from the field, 35.7 percent from beyond the arc and 78.4 percent from the foul line. All four of those numbers are decreases from last year’s stats.
Love’s struggles in January are even more noticeable, averaging just 12.8 points in 13 games this month and shooting 38.4 percent from the floor.
Rock bottom came last week when he scored three points with six rebounds over 21 minutes in a 34-point home loss to Golden State. He was a complete non-factor against Warriors forward Draymond Green and others.
Love is an important player to the Cavs — his rebounding, frontcourt scoring and ability to stretch the floor with 3-point range are valuable components to the team’s offense. Cleveland needs him playing well to not only advance to the Finals but also score against small-ball lineups that teams such as the Warriors and Spurs run so effectively.
Thumbnail photo via Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports Images