It’s so far been a quiet period of trade talk as we approach the 2016 NBA trade deadline. Two teams some think should be doing something; the Cleveland Cavaliers (specifically with Kevin Love) and the Milwaukee Bucks, at least officially, aren’t planning on making any moves.
The Cavaliers have been in flux since losing to the Golden State Warriors by 34 points at home. They’ve fired their head coach despite two wins after that loss and leading the Eastern conference and seem to be moving toward a different style of basketball. But when the only thing they care about is how they measure up against the Golden State Warriors, Love’s name keeps coming up because of his problematic defense and his previous role on the Cavaliers offense, which was basically working from the corner.
David Griffin, the Cavaliers general manager, is denying that Love is on the trading block: You’d have to go a long way to convince me that we’re a better team winning in the Finals without a player like Kevin on our team. We’ve never once put together an offer involving Kevin, nor have we taken a call on an offer for Kevin.
Even if they were to try and trade Love, it’s difficult considering his $112 million, five-year deal. Tyronn Lue has spoken about using Love more on the elbow and giving him more opportunities in more advantageous areas on the floor, but for someone who was used to putting up big numbers in Minnesota, it’s been a disappointing time with the Cavaliers, not to mention not expecting being the one called out for the team not being good enough on the Warriors comparison scale.
The Bucks have different problems. They surprised a lot of people when they made the playoffs last season during Jason Kidd’s first season on the sidelines as their head coach and despite missing Jabari Parker for most of the season. His return to health and signing Greg Monroe to fix their problems under the basket brought bigger expectations, while the East around them got stronger. The result? The Bucks are only 20-27 so far this season, four games behind the 8th spot in the East.
Patience, for now, is the name of the game for them, according to general manager John Hammond. There are no shortcuts for getting there. We like our young players; we still believe in these young players. We believe these young players as a core can become that team. We just might need to be a little patient as we get to that point.
It’s worth mentioning that Hammond also said that the Bucks will pull the trigger on a trade if they find a way to improve their team, but it doesn’t feel as if it’s playoffs or bust for this team this year, at least not right now. Monroe isn’t going anywhere, and it’s hard to believe Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo will be moved as well. As for Michael Carter-Williams and Parker? It’ll be surprising if they’re traded despite their disappointing individual efforts, but nothing is impossible in the next three weeks.