Kevin Love was a man of the people back in July, when he signed a four-year, $120.4 million extension to stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers, then posed for an impromptu selfie with construction workers at Quicken Loans Arena.
Between Love's contract and a $140 million arena renovation, that's more than a quarter of a billion dollars poured into the post-LeBron James Cavs. The way things are going so far—at 8-32 the Cavs have the worst record in the league—one has to wonder whether Love will actually be around to see this rebuilding project through.
Probably not. But that also depends on a difficult question: What's the trade market for a 30-year-old, five-time All-Star described by one Western Conference executive as a "dinosaur"? Challenging, to put it mildly, according to multiple executives around the league.
"It's a lot to ask someone to take on $144 million for a 30-year-old with an injury history," one of the execs told Bleacher Report. "You're dealing with a very small, narrow marketplace for him."
Love's extension, which kicks in next season, brought his five-year guaranteed salary to $144 million. He'll make $28.9 million next season, then the deal levels off at $31.3 million the next two years and goes back to $28.9 million in the final season, when Love will be 34.
If nothing else, acquiring Love would come with cost certainty for a player whose three-point shooting, rebounding, veteran leadership and postseason experience could prove useful to a team that feels it's one piece away from making a deep playoff run.