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NBA trade rumors: Is Kevin Love open to coming to Cleveland?

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The answer might surprise you.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Love, one of the best young players in the NBA, has the ability to become a free agent next summer. He has yet to make the playoffs with the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team that has been snake bitten by injuries and blown multiple lottery selections. Even exciting point guard Ricky Rubio has failed to develop in the way many expected of flashy Spaniard.

As such, rumors abound of Love wanting out. The Timberwolves are in the unfortunate position of being forced to look into trading their best player or face the prospect of losing him for nothing. Love has been non-committal about his future in Minnesota, and even spent a weekend in Boston recently, one of the teams rumored to be in the running for his services in a trade. Another team rumored to be in the mix for Love? The Cavaliers.

And in an interview with USA Today's blog, The Big Lead, Love fielded a question on rumors he might be sent to Cleveland:

Q: I saw this actual sentence on ESPN over the weekend: "Cleveland has interest in Love, but the feeling isn’t mutual." Did you see that and what do you make of reporting like that? How difficult is it not to pick up the phone and call your agent, or pick up your phone and tweet that it’s BS?

Love: I try not to read it. A lot of it is brought to my attention through outside sources, sometimes twitter. But like most people, I need to be conscious of my image and try to roll with the punches. I know that’s a generic answer. I don’t think the Cleveland [trade rumors] are outlandish at all. They have a great young foundation.

So what does this mean for the Cavaliers? If they are willing to part with the number one overall pick in the draft that takes place in two weeks, making the trade for Love becomes a bit more palatable. It's a risky move, though. As I said above, Love can be a free agent after next season and the way the CBA is written, there is no chance he would sign a max extension before reaching free agency. There is the chance that Love would agree not to exercise his early termination option and wait until the summer of 2016 to be a free agent. This would give the Cavs two full years to convince him to sign a max deal.

Without that assurance, and perhaps even with that assurance, the price just might be too high. Two years of Kevin Love for Dion Waiters and the chance to draft Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins, or Jabari Parker? I don't know. At the same time, Love is known to have a friendship with Kyrie Irving, and they fit perfectly together. Is Love really going to turn down playing with age 23-27 Kyrie Irving? It'd surprise me, even if there are reports of Love wanting a big market on one of the coasts.

The other option is to offer everything BUT the number one pick. One, I don't know if it's enough to get Love. Minnesota would probably want a top pick in this year's draft. Two, if you trade for Love you are hoping to win right now. Does drafting Joel Embiid accomplish that? Still, trading for Love and then having Embiid and Kyrie regardless of whether Love stays is a nice little backup plan. Again, going to be hard to make that deal.

So let me know what you think. Love seems more positive on Cleveland than we might have thought he'd be.