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Kevin Love could be the ‘first major trade chip’ before Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler, Kevin Love

The Cleveland Cavaliers signed power forward Kevin Love to a four-year, $120 million extension in the offseason, meaning the franchise will now pay Love roughly $145 million over the next five seasons.

The move surprised many around the league, as most people thought after LeBron James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Cavs would embark on a rebuild and trade Love for some young assets. Cavs general manager Koby Altman, however, said upon signing Love to the extension that he wants to be competitive this year and has no intention to tank.

It’s still early, but Cleveland is off to an 0-3 start. They have lost to the Toronto Raptors, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Atlanta Hawks. Multiple players said after Sunday’s loss to the Hawks that it was an embarrassing defeat.

So the question has to be asked: Has the Kevin Love trade watch already started? Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post believes so. It’s important to note that the Cavs can’t trade Love until January.

“Keep an eye on Kevin Love as the potential first major trade chip to be moved in the non-Jimmy Butler category,” Bontemps wrote in his latest column. “Yes, Love signed a long-term extension with Cleveland this summer. But as Blake Griffin showed last year, that just means he could be more attractive to another team as a trade chip.”

The Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers are considered the best teams in the East, with the Milwaukee Bucks and Washington Wizards not too far behind. Yes, the Cavs could make the playoffs as a lower seed, but what’s the point? The worst place in sports is to be stuck in mediocrity, and it appears that’s where the Cavs are now.

The best course of action would be to keep featuring Love as the primary option on offense so he can inflate his numbers and increase his trade value.

The Land