It's no secret around the NBA that Celtics boss Danny Ainge believes Kevin Love can be an elite player if put in the right circumstance. With LeBron James now out of the picture in Cleveland, there is plenty of reason to believe that the Celtics will once again kick the tires on a Love trade. NBA Trade Rumors Celtics Kevin Love may be heating up again.
If Cavaliers GM Koby Altman is willing to deal Love, however, don't expect to see it happen until around next February's trade deadline at the earliest. Altman is saying, at least publicly, that the Cavaliers want to "compete" in 2018-19 rather than "tank."
"To go the complete opposite direction, which we've been through, is not fun and it's hard," Altman told Cleveland.com. "It's hard to sort of come out of that. And the unknown is really daunting to me. I really like what we have now and I don't necessarily want to go backwards."
Given today's NBA landscape, there's reason to believe Altman here. Nearly half the NBA will be in complete tank mode this coming season given that it's almost a formality that the Golden State Warriors will repeat as champions. In other words, there's too much competition right now in the tank game.
NBA Trade Rumors Celtics Kevin Love
In the watered down East, the Cavs can certainly make the playoffs with their current roster.
That said, overall mediocrity will get tired in a hurry in Cleveland - where they have become accustomed to making NBA Finals runs. The Cavs are expected to have some of the poorest attendance in the league at their home games this season.
Love will almost certainly be dealt before he becomes a free agent in 2020 as it will make little sense for the Cavs to build around a 31-year-old Love at that time. And of course, the Celtics will be one of the top rumored destinations for the sharp-shooting forward - as his offensively ability would surely be lethal in a Brad Stevens system.
At this point in their roster building, however, the Celtics are only locked in on big fish (i.e. Anthony Davis) in regards to giving up any of their key assets (Jaylen Brown, Memphis pick, Kings pick). Love, at this stage, is more of a guppy than a shark - so the Celtics would only be interested in a bargain. Ainge is notorious for targeting desperate situations, and the Cavaliers just aren't there … yet.
Also important to remembers is the history between the Celtics and Cavaliers on the trade front. The Kyrie Irving trade got pretty messy at the end there last summer when Altman was requesting Ainge to throw in extra draft picks because of worry about Isaiah Thomas' injury. NBA Trade Rumors Celtics Kevin Love may start to get hot again.