The Cavaliers probably won’t trade Love. They might even know enough about the current market to know they won’t find a suitable Love deal by the trade deadline.
But that doesn’t mean they made him untouchable.
League sources say that the Cavs have made it clear to interested teams — starting, of course, with the Love-hungry Boston Celtics — that they’d covet a star in return if or when they do reach the point of letting Love go … and not a package of draft picks and role players like the Celtics are offering.
Of course, the Cavaliers don’t place as much value into draft picks. They’re trying to win a championship this season.
If the Cavs are set on getting a star if they trade Love, that seems unlikely. Which team would trade a player better than Love for Love? His five-year contract provides stability, but that also helps Cleveland.
Perhaps, a three-way trade – where Boston sends commensurate value in young players and picks to a team ready to unload a star – would work. That’s why the Carmelo Anthony rumors made some sense, but Carmelo Anthony has significant incentive to use his no-trade clause to block any deals this season.
When I read this report, I just see more reason to believe Cleveland isn’t trading Love this week.