Kevin Love
(Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cavaliers have gone on record by saying Kevin Love will return to Cleveland for the 2016 season. Love has also repeated the same sentiments. While Love and the Cavs may be sincere, NBA execs around the league believe Love will be involved in some sort of sign-and-trade deal this offseason.

The following from Grantland’s Zach Lowe:

Griffin has repeatedly said the Cavs plan to keep Love, but plugged-in executives around the league continue to predict the Cavs will sign-and-trade Love after advancing so far without him. That would unclutter the power forward spot, and if the Cavs can recoup rotation players and picks, they’d have to at least consider it. Love needs the ball to live up to a max contract, and even Griffin has told me that watching LeBron carry a misfit cast within two wins of the title taught him a lot about the kind of supporting cast he wants around his centerpiece.

“LeBron needs to have the ball so much for you to be as good as you can be, and you need to be very selective about the guys who get to have it when he doesn’t,” Griffin said. “You cannot have too much ball dominance around him.”

 

Love has not been the fit the Cavs had hoped for since coming over in the trade involving Andrew Wiggins. Love certainly has not perfected the role Chris Bosh once mastered when LeBron James played for Miami Heat. One of the biggest reasons Wiggins was dealt to Minnesota was his refusal to sign with LeBron’s agent. With Tristan Thompson being a restricted free agent this offseason, LeBron may convince the Cavs to pay Thompson instead as he shares James’ agent. James will have some interesting decisions to make this offseason.

The real problem for the Cavaliers is Love’s ability to leave for nothing. With Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith, and Mathew Dellavedova as impending free agents, the Cavs may opt to try to engage in a Love sign and trade deal. General Manager David Griffin recently admitted that he believes you can’t have to much dominance surrounding LeBron.

“LeBron (James) needs to have the ball so much for you to be as good as you can be, and you need to be very selective about the guys who get to have it when he doesn’t,” David Griffin said. “You cannot have too much ball dominance around him.”

It will be interesting to see what Cleveland decides to do. With each passing day it becomes more and more likely Love leaves for nothing. LaMarcus Aldridge could be another possibility to take Love’s spot if he decides to leave Portland. With the NBA Draft quickly approaching the Cavs will likely be working the phones to gauge other teams interesting involving a possible Love sign-and-trade deal.