The Cleveland Cavaliers cemented their frontcourt of the future this offseason. They used the third pick in the 2021 NBA Draft on USC center, Evan Mobley. In addition, they also locked up restricted free agent Jarrett Allen to a five-year deal.
Mobley and Allen should be able to coexist in the frontcourt given their skillsets. Mobley has shown an ability to play anywhere on the court, being compared to Anthony Davis on defense and Chris Bosh on offense. Allen is your quintessential rim-running center who is already an elite rebounder and shot-blocker.
With those two in place, in addition to Larry Nance Jr. and Mfiondu Kabengele, the Cavaliers’ frontcourt is crowded. So, where does that leave veteran Kevin Love?
Once LeBron James departed Cleveland a second time, in this instance taking his talents to the Los Angeles Lakers, Love had no fit with the team. Every team that James leaves behind starts a rebuild, so why the Cavaliers re-signed Love to a four-year deal worth more than $120 million the year after James left is anyone’s guess.
With little use for an almost 33-year old that has battled injuries, Cleveland could look to move on from Love. Alas, that is easier said than done.
Not many teams have the cap space to absorb a contract of that size into their salary cap. The teams willing to do that are likely even fewer. One option could be a buyout, which we have seen more frequently on long-term deals in recent years.
If Love does secure a buyout, there will be plenty of teams lining up for his services. Here are three teams to keep an eye on should the former UCLA product be bought out.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers are a team people have waited for all offseason to see make a big move. Whether it was going through with a trade involving Damian Lillard or moving on from his backcourt mate, CJ McCollum, a move was anticipated.
We are now halfway through August and there hasn’t been a move of that magnitude to speak of out of the Trail Blazers. The biggest thing they did during the offseason was changing head coaches. Chauncey Billups will be replacing Terry Stotts after the team was eliminated four out of the last five years in the first round.
If the Blazers keep their dynamic backcourt duo together, they could use some scoring punch in the frontcourt. With Carmelo Anthony moving on in free agency, there is a void in the frontcourt for the second unit that Kevin Love would fill in well.
It would be a homecoming for Love as well, as he went to high school right outside of Portland at Lake Oswego. While he has battled injuries in recent years, he has shown that he does have a little something left in the tank when on the court. This could appeal the Trail Blazers.
Love is a 37 percent shooter from 3-point range in his career and is still an excellent rebounder at this stage in his career. He won’t help the Trail Blazers defensive issues but adding this kind of experienced depth to a team looking to make a postseason run never hurts.