According to oddsmakers via Bovada, the Cleveland Cavaliers are the favorites (-250) to retain five-time All-Star Kevin Love. The Brooklyn Nets have the second-best odds (+800) of trading for the 32-year-old player, followed by the Los Angeles Clippers (+1000) and Philadelphia 76ers (+1000). Five days ago, Jeff Schwartz, Love’s agent, said he has no interest in negotiating a contract buyout with the organization.
In the 2020-21 NBA season, the forward averaged 12.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 25 games played. Plus, he shot 40.9 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from three-point range. On May 12, 2021, in the Cavs’ 102-94 win over the Boston Celtics, he scored a season-high 30 points and 14 rebounds, snapping the team’s 11-game losing streak.
Over the past month, bettors were considering the possibility of Love retiring due to lingering injuries and a steady decline in performance. In the 2018-19 season, he only played in 22 games. To add to that, Love only played in 25 games last season, and this was because of calf and knee injuries. In the first game of last season’s preseason, he suffered a right calf injury. During the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Love was forced to withdraw from Team USA after re-aggravating his right calf.
Player statistics, injuries and accomplishments
On the contrary, despite his recent injury history, Love has not hinted at retirement. He is turning 33-years-old on September 7th. On July 28, 2018, Love signed a four-year, $120 million extension with the Cavaliers. He earned $31,258,256 last season and will make $31.3 million in the upcoming 2021-22 season. The final year of his contract is for the 2022-23 season, and he is projected to earn $28.9 million.
If the star decides not to retire by then, Cleveland could trade him after his contract expires. However, this logical scenario is not fooling gamblers. An in-season trade is probable for the 13-year veteran. The question is, when will it happen?
Moreover, he was selected fifth overall by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2008 NBA Draft. Though, he was immediately traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Per Basketball-Reference, Love has a 73.5 percent chance of making the Hall of Fame.
In the 2013-14 season, the power forward had a career season-high average of 26.1 points per game. His career-high for points came during the 2011-12 season, when he scored 51 points in the Timberwolves’ 149-140 loss in double-overtime against the Oklahoma City Thunder. In the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals, Love scored a playoff career-high 32 points in Game 1 versus the Celtics, lifting the Cavs to a 117-104 victory.
Kevin Love’s next team odds
|Los Angeles Clippers||+1000|
|Golden State Warriors||+1200|
|San Antonio Spurs||+1600|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+1600|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+2000|
Source: Basketball Insider