The Portland Trail Blazers were linked to Kevin Love in the weeks leading up to the NBA Trade Deadline, yet the deadline passed with little word on any Love-to-Portland talks. The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd wrote Thursday in a Q&A post that Portland offered Hassan Whiteside and Kent Bazemore in a deal for Love:
Q: Any insight on the best return the Cavs have been offered in a love trade since LeBron’s departure? Were any of them good enough for the Cavs to have wished they pulled the trigger in hindsight?
A: The only one that I know definitely equated to just a salary dump. Portland offered Bazemore and Whiteside, which essentially would’ve matched Kevin’s salary. But both of those are expiring contracts and the Cavs would’ve received no real assets in return.
The inclusion of Bazemore means this offer would’ve been made before he was dealt to Sacramento (along with Anthony Tolliver) for Trevor Ariza, Wenyen Gabriel and Caleb Swanigan. Love and Whiteside both stayed with their respective teams as the trade deadline passed.
Lloyd provided further insight on the asking price for Love and what teams were willing to give up for him:
Most teams were telling the Cavs they’d need to include assets just to get them to take Kevin’s contract. The Cavs were asking for a first-round pick. No one even came close to that. I’d expect them to resume trade talks on Kevin this summer.
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor wrote in December, when tensions were rising between Love and the Cavs, that Love preferred a trade to the Blazers.
Love is in the first year of a four-year, $120 million extension that runs until 2022-23.