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Report: Kevin Love wants Cavaliers to trade him to contender

Cleveland Cavaliers v Philadelphia 76ers

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 12: Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on November 12, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers defeated the Cavaliers 98-97. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

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In the last few months, Kevin Love’s mood on the Cavaliers has shifted from “I do want to be here. I always have” to “Let the chips fall where they may” to…

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love prefers a move to a contending team, league sources tell The Athletic.

Of course, Love prefers to play for a contender. Nearly every veteran on a losing team does.

The big question: How hard is Love willing to push?

This report looks like a big step. It doesn’t rise to the level of a trade request, but if Love is leaking his preference, that puts a little more pressure on the Cavs.

They appear willing to explore the market. Finding a trade partner won’t be easy, though.

Love has a $28,942,830 salary this season, and he’s due $91,459,342 over the next three years. The 31-year-old looks past his prime. His defense becomes particularly exploitable deep in the playoffs.

Still, he’s a good player who could help many teams. It’s just unclear whether anyone – given Love’s contract and age – will surrender enough assets to tempt Cleveland. The Cavaliers seem to like having someone with Love’s star reputation.

Perhaps, Love can change that by signaling his displeasure.

Love should have seen this situation coming when he signed his big extension (and maybe he did). The Cavaliers were clearly entering a rebuild with LeBron James gone. Love just felt comfortable in Cleveland, and re-upping was the only way to secure so much money. He might have figured he could always push for a trade later.

That’s the road he appears headed down, though I also believe he’d be content staying with the Cavs – if necessary. And that could always change quickly.