How Kevin Love’s contract impacts the Jazz

The Utah Jazz are likely done making moves this off-season, outside of filling out the training camp roster, the Jazz roster is set. However, other NBA teams are still making big moves trying fill out their rosters, and those moves, and non-moves will impact the Jazz.

The biggest name to sign a deal recently is Kevin Love, who got a 4 year, $140 million deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Love may have been the Jazz top target in the summer of 2019 with the free-agent money they are expected to have, potentially giving the Jazz a front court floor spacer alongside Rudy Gobert.

From one perspective, the Love deal is bad for the Jazz, because he’s no longer going to be a free agent. The easiest way to add a player traditionally is through free-agency, because outside of money, you don’t have to give up anything to get them. However, this Cavaliers deal for Love may work to the Jazz benefit.

After losing LeBron James, the Cavaliers aren’t in competition to win the East, and with Collin Sexton leading the team at point guard, they may be on the verge of a total rebuild, and if by the trade deadline that rebuild feels imminent, Love’s contract will become an albatross. Much like Andrew Wiggins max contract in Minnesota that quickly found him on the trade market, Love could very well expect to hear his name in trade rumors as soon as January.

This could be a huge benefit for the Jazz, who have a series of expiring contracts they could move to Cleveland which would allow them to avoid being saddled with Love, and the Jazz own all of their own draft picks, which might be key to any future moves the Cavs make.

This is where the Derrick Favors contract might have added value for the Jazz, having a large initial number on his deal, but a fully non-guaranteed second season. A move involving Favors would allow the Cavs to take on a player knowing they could waive him in the summer, and start their rebuild, or if Favors looks like a long term building piece, at just 27 years old, Favors fits into a long term plan, at a reasonable price.

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