When Love started in the NBA back during the 2008-09 season, he was seen as a big man who could end up being a versatile and talented player on both ends of the court.
Sure enough, Love has proven to be more than just a large power forward and instead has enhanced his game over the years to be both offensively and defensively powerful.
Of course, he’s been playing for a long time so it’s no surprise to see his output diminish from the career highs of 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds a game that he was achieving back in 2013 when he still played for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
However, he’s doing a lot better than people expected this season and is actually showing flashes of his old self.
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) January 1, 2022
Off The Bench
Before the season began, the Cavaliers made it clear that Love would not be the starting power forward for the team.
That makes sense: Love is older and slower than he used to be while the rest of the roster is filled with young, up-and-coming players who are finding their footing in the NBA.
Love, always a team player, seemed comfortable with his new role.
But like the Cavaliers themselves, Love has surprised nearly everyone this season.
His current 2021-22 average is 14.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists.
He’s shooting 44.3 percent from the field and is even landing 42.9 percent of his threes, which happens to be a career-high.
Love really showed his talents on New Year’s Eve, when he delivered 35 points and 11 rebounds in just 30 minutes played, his highest-scoring game in over four seasons.
Tonight, @kevinlove finished with…
35 PTS (his most since 11/28/17)
30 MIN off bench
— Cavs Notes (@CavsNotes) January 1, 2022
Love is keeping up with this youthful squad and, more importantly, is reliable and sturdy, and smart.
Because of his stellar season, there is talk of him as a possible Sixth Man of the Year candidate.
However, there is also talk of trading Love too.
Time For A Trade?
The idea of Love being an actual trade target at this point in his career would have surprised most people even a season ago.
But with this second wind that has found its way into Love’s sails, the idea of trading him now doesn’t sound so far-fetched.
You have to remember the plan that the Cavs have: they want to stay young and foster the new players who are proving themselves.
Simply put, the future of the Cavaliers isn’t Love, it’s guys who are much younger and have years of NBA playing ahead of them.
Since Love is doing so well again, he could help Cleveland grab a couple of other younger stars to help boost the squad that already exists.
There are a few possible targets for a package: maybe he once again plays with LeBron James or maybe he heads to Portland.
To maintain the core they are investing in, the Cavs don’t have a lot of players they can possibly trade.
Love can be traded and this resurgence in his career is the perfect time to do so.