With the Cleveland Cavaliers sitting at the bottom of the standings, GM Koby Altman surely has no choice but to start moving out his veteran players at the upcoming trade deadline.
The most attractive trade chip would be All-Star forward Kevin Love, who remains sidelined as he continues to recover from foot surgery. The Cavaliers gave Love a four-year, $120.4 million extension in the offseason, but that doesn't necessarily mean they'll look to retain the 30-year-old much longer.
According to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, Love "sees a scenario in which he could be traded," although the Cavaliers reportedly prefer to have him play alongside rookie Collin Sexton when he returns.
Per Vardon, team officials think "a developed Sexton, a healthy Love, and a player from the top of the draft," is their best bet in becoming a competitive club again. So even though Love apparently envisions a trading scenario, the Cavaliers appear content in retaining him over the long run.
The Cavaliers acquired Love in a blockbuster trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2014 offseason. The five-time All-Star helped Cleveland win their very first NBA Championship in 2016, taking down the heavily-favored Golden State Warriors in seven games.
But with LeBron James joining the Los Angeles Lakers in the offseason, the Cavaliers have predictably fallen apart without their franchise icon. Even when Love was healthy, this was far from a competitive team.
The Cavaliers have represented the East in the NBA Finals four straight years now, and it sounds like the front office is bent on getting back there as soon as possible, even though the record shows they're nowhere close to winning again.
What This Means
It's easy for the Cavaliers to say right now that they want to remain competitive, but their record is downright embarrassing. With little young talent to build around outside of Sexton, it's unreasonable to believe they'll turn it around any time soon.
If the right trade offers are on the tables - ones that feature young assets - the Cavaliers would have no choice but move out Love and begin this overdue rebuilding process.