The Dallas Mavericks recognize they need to add another piece before the NBA trade deadline if they want a legitimate shot at contending. Without any star power available this year, the Mavericks might have their sights set on Kevin Love as an ideal fit to bolster their lineup.
With the deadline approaching on March 25, Dallas wants to find a big man who it can pair with Kristaps Porzingis and that can complement Luka Doncic. Specifically, the team is targeting a stretch four who can fire from beyond the arc and is capable of dominating on the glass. They might have found their man.
Let’s dive into the latest trade rumor surrounding the Dallas Mavericks.
NBA rumors: Dallas Mavericks interested in Kevin Love
According to Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor, a person with knowledge of the Mavericks’ thinking pointed to Kevin Love as exactly the kind of player they want. A five-time All-Star selection with championship experience, the 32-year-old forward could play alongside Porzingis and Doncic.
Love hasn’t played since Dec. 27, sidelined by a calf injury that has kept him sidelined for a majority of the 2020-’21 NBA season. He is making progress, with the Cleveland Cavaliers anticipating his return sometime after the All-Star Break. Given the Cavaliers are shopping Andre Drummond, Taurean Prince, Cedi Osman and more, it’s evident they are willing to make deals.
Injuries are a major concern for Love, but he does still fit the mold of what the Mavericks want. He shot 37.4% from beyond the arc last season and 46.7% from just inside the three-point line. He can also still be a vacuum around the rim, averaging 8.8 defensive rebounds per game this past year.
Injuries aren’t the biggest issue preventing a trade. It’s the massive financial obligations owed to him, with the Cavaliers paying him $31.2 million this year, $31.258 million the following season and $28.94 million for the 2022-’23 campaign. That albatross contract is one no other team would take on happily.
Even if the Mavericks sent the expiring contracts of Tim Hardaway Jr. ($18.9 million) and James Johnson ($15.7 million) to Cleveland, it would take up a huge chunk of the team’s salary cap for the next two seasons. Given Dallas wants to make a big run at a superstar in free agency, they need financial flexibility.
Given his contract and durability issues, it would be a surprise if Kevin Love is traded to the Dallas Mavericks or any other team before the deadline.