Cavaliers Hot on the Trail of Potential Kevin Love Replacement: Report

Kevin Love Cleveland Cavaliers

Getty Kevin Love #0.

A rather underrated aspect of the Cleveland Cavaliers buyout with franchise mainstay Kevin Love has been the fact that Love’s departure has opened up a roster spot in Cleveland. And though Love hadn’t figured into head coach JB Bickerstaff‘s plans of late, there’s no denying that Love’s absence leaves the backup big slot light.

According to Sam Amico of Hoops Wire, the search for a Love replacement is well underway in Cleveland. While Amico didn’t provide any potential targets, he did provide sources from which Love’s replacement might come.

“League sources expect the Cavs to fill the spot vacated by Love,” Amico wrote on February 20. “It very well could be another big man, which the Cavs were already seeking, sources said.”

Amico pumped the brakes on a big-time signing, however.

“As for who may fill the spot, it’s not likely to be anyone splashy. A source told Hoops Wire the Cavs will consider all possibilities, to unsigned veterans to G League call-ups,” Amico finished.

As it stands, Isaiah Mobley and Mamdi Diakate fit the bill as potential depth additions from Cleveland’s G-League roster. Both are two-way G-League players who suit up at power forward.

Should Cavaliers Scour the Free-Agent Market?

It should go without saying, but whoever Cleveland signs to replace Love is not likely to be a major playoff-level contributor. At best, the Cavaliers are likely looking at an innings-eating big who can take some pressure off of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen during the regular season.

That might not sound like the most fun answer, but keep in mind that Love himself was hardly playing for the Cavs lately. In fact, Love was a coach’s decision DNP in each contest of Cleveland’s recent seven-game win streak.

If Cleveland opts against the G-League route, a few interesting free agents are floating out there in the ether. LaMarcus Aldridge, who recently got a look by the Dallas Mavericks, is still available, though his age (37) could be prohibitive.

If the Cavs are looking for a blend of size and shooting, could they take a shot at the even older Carmelo Anthony? According to Kevin Durant, Anthony still has the talent to play in the league:

Anthony is a career 35% shooter from three but is up to nearly 40% over his last three seasons.

Like recent signing Danny Green, Anthony could provide some veteran leadership on the team while giving the player perhaps a final shot at winning a title.

Mobley Reveals Feelings on Kevin Love’s Buyout

Love’s buyout is also a sort of passing-of-the-torch in Cleveland. After winning a ring with the Cavs in 2016, Love was the de facto face of the franchise for several seasons, choosing to stick around even after LeBron James and Kyrie Irving bolted for greener pastures.

But with Cleveland organizing around its young core, the time was right to move on from the last remaining player of that 2016 title team.

And one member of its young core, Evan Mobley, explained that Love’s absence would be sorely felt.

“It definitely hits you emotionally,” Mobley told Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “All the guys are going to miss him for sure, and I just hope he does great wherever he goes.”

The Cavs will hit the floor against the West’s top-seed Denver Nuggets Thursday night.

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