According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (h/t ESPN Cleveland), the deals aren’t going to materialize due to the Cavs’ failure to sell the Bulls or Pacers on Kevin Love as a centerpiece of a potential trade.
Per ESPN’s Marc Stein, former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin made a strong push to acquire either Butler or George before he and the organization parted ways this week.
Stein added that Cleveland has encountered obstacles in its attempts to land one of the star players, as Butler reportedly wants to lead the Bulls back to prominence, and George prefers to land with the Los Angeles Lakers.
With the Cavaliers undoubtedly wanting to keep LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, Love became the only big piece they could potentially offer in a blockbuster trade.
According to Stein, the Cavs attempted to get a third team involved during discussions centered on Butler due to their lack of assets aside from Love.
The 28-year-old Love returned to the All-Star Game in 2016-17 after a two-year absence and put up strong numbers during the regular season with 19.0 points and 11.1 rebounds per game.
His production dropped off a bit to 16.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per contest during the playoffs, and he was a non-factor at times in Cleveland’s five-game series loss to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
In contrast, Butler is a 27-year-old, three-time All-Star coming off his best statistical season with 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game, while the 27-year-old George put up 23.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists on average.
Love has three more years remaining on his contract, Butler can become a free agent after two, and George has the option to hit free agency next offseason.
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