The much-rumored Kevin Love trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers, which has been reported as all but done, suddenly may not be so certain.
"In a rather new development, it now looks as if Love won’t sign an extension with any team in which he’s traded, even the Cavaliers," reports Bob Finnan of the News-Herald.
"He can get far more money if he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2015, and re-signs with the team in which he is traded. That puts considerably more risk in a trade, especially if the Cavaliers are giving up a prospect like (Andrew) Wiggins."
Love’s unwillingness to sign an extension puts the Minnesota Timberwolves in a tough spot if they decide to trade him. Teams likely will be reluctant to give up quality assets — whether it’s a talented, young player like Wiggins, an established star such as Golden State’s Klay Thompson, or a potential top-five lottery pick — to acquire Love without any assurances that he will sign long-term. The Warriors reportedly already are unsure if they want to include Thompson in a potential package for Love. As for the Cavaliers, giving up Wiggins, a player with superstar potential, is risky without an extension from Love.
Even with LeBron James and Love, the Cavaliers would not be a lock to win the NBA Finals given the strength of the Western Conference and a few quality teams in the East such as the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers. If the Cavaliers’ young players, including Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson, don’t develop as expected in 2014-15, all of a sudden Cleveland might not seem like a good long-term fit for Love (if he’s traded there). If Love did reach free agency in the summer of 2015, he likely would have many, many teams interested in his services. Teams certainly will look to free salary cap space for that free-agent class, which could include Roy Hibbert, Marc Gasol and Rajon Rondo.