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#pounditTuesday, February 7, 2023

Articles tagged: Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavaliers could trade former All-Star ahead of deadline

JB Bickerstaff looks ahead

Dec 6, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J. B. Bickerstaff reacts in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers could be prepared to trade a former All-Star player ahead of this year’s deadline.

Kevin Love recently had a conversation with coach J.B. Bickerstaff, who informed the 5-time All-Star that he is out of the Cavaliers’ rotation. Unsurprisingly, other teams are now showing interest in Love.

According to Hoops Wire’s Sam Amico, several teams are interested in a trade for Love. The 34-year-old is on an expiring contract, which is attractive because of the salary cap space it would create after the season.

Amico noted though that the Cavs have not had any conversations with Love about a buyout.

Love has appeared in 41 games this season, making three starts and averaging 20.0 minutes per game. He has averaged 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Love’s shooting percentages have dropped this season to 38.9 percent from the field and 35.4 percent on threes.

Cavaliers make big decision with Kevin Love

Kevin Love smiling

Feb 9, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) reacts in the second quarter against the LA Clippers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers have made a big decision regarding Kevin Love.

Love did not play in the Cavaliers’ 122-103 win over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday. He was listed as a DNP-Coach’s Decision in the boxscore.

When asked via Twitter Sunday what the story was with Love’s “did not play” designation, Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor said that Love is officially out of the Cavs’ rotation. According to Fedor, Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff had a conversation with Love about the matter recently.

Love last played on January 24. He was out for three games with back spasms but was cleared to play on January 31. He has not played in three straight games despite being active.

Dean Wade has been taking many of the minutes that otherwise likely would have gone to Love. He played 25 minutes in the win over the Pacers and 17 minutes in Thursday’s win over the Grizzlies.

Love is earning $28.9 million this season but his four-year contract expires after the season. His playing time and role have steadily decreased over the last few seasons.

It remains to be seen whether Love will be traded thanks to his expiring contract or potentially bought out. The 34-year-old has averaged 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in 20.0 minutes per game this season.

Cavaliers set to get boost from return of notable veteran

Donovan Mitchell smiling

Jan 2, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) talks to a television reporter after the game between the Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mitchell set the franchise record for points with 71. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers are poised to get some extra backcourt help as soon as Thursday with the return of a notable veteran.

Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio is targeting a return to action Thursday against Portland, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Rubio has not played in over a year due to a torn ACL in his left knee.

Rubio last played on Dec. 28, 2021. His rehab process took over a year, and the 32-year-old figures to fit into the Cavaliers’ guard rotation behind Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell.

The Cavaliers have started 26-16 even without Rubio playing an active role. If he can play up to his previous standards, Rubio will provide the team with valuable depth and ensure that they do not have to lean quite as heavily on Garland and Mitchell, which can only help going forward.

Luke Kornet goes viral for his defensive contests against Cavs

Luke Kornet jumps

Boston Celtics center Luke Kornet played a season-high 26 minutes on Friday night and put up solid numbers off the bench. He scored four points, brought down five rebounds and finished with three assists. He was plus-7 overall.

But it wasn’t Kornet’s offense that has people talking. It was his unorthodox defense that led him to go viral.

Twice during Friday night’s 132-123 overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers at TD garden, Kornet contested a three-pointer from inside the paint. It was a curious look given that he obviously wasn’t going to block the shots.

As you can see in the video however, Kornet’s approach worked. Both shots were missed.

“I’ve been told it works,” Kornet said after the game, via MassLive. “Came about it pretty organically. I’ve been told it makes a difference. In the amount of times I’ve used it, it seems to make a difference. If the numbers start indicating otherwise, I’ll adjust. But as long as it seems to be effective, especially with certain types of shooters, and things like that.”

Kornet said his approach began about two years ago and so far, the results have been positive. And it does seem to make sense. If the shooter is locked in on the rim and Kornet can get his hands up and create some movement in the field of view, it causes a distraction.

The fact that Kornet stands at 7-foot-2 probably doesn’t hurt, either.

“It’s not perfect every time,” Kornet added. “If you can get there early enough and you can’t see the rim, it’s better. We’re visually-dependent people. If you can do it right, it can have some effect.”

So long as Kornet continues to find success with the odd approach, why not empty the well?

Cavaliers considering interesting lineup move after Donovan Mitchell trade?

Donovan Mitchell looks on

Jan 16, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) during the second half against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers may be ready to have some fun after trading for Donovan Mitchell.

Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com reports this week that there could be times the Cavs play big man Evan Mobley at small forward next year. Pluto adds that Kevin Love could slot in at the 4 with Jarrett Allen at the 5 in such lineups.

Cleveland was already pretty revolutionary with their three-big lineup of Mobley, Allen, and Lauri Markkanen last season. But Markkanen, a natural forward with a sweet touch from three-pont land, is now in Utah after being traded as part of the package for Mitchell. Mobley is more of a true big man who shot just 25.0 percent from deep as a rookie.

The 21-year-old Mobley might not necessarily get extended minutes at the 3 since wingmen Caris Levert and Isaac Okoro are also around to complement Mitchell and Darius Garland. But playing the spry Mobley at small forward might make more sense than what this other East team tried last season.

Donovan Mitchell traded to surprise Eastern Conference team

Donovan Mitchell looks on

Jan 16, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) during the second half against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Donovan Mitchell is on the move to a very surprising destination.

The Utah Jazz have traded Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers, as first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Shams Charania of The Athletic shared the full deal, which sees three unprotected first-round picks heading to Utah, along with guard Collin Sexton and forward Lauri Markkanen. The Jazz will also acquire two pick swaps in the trade.

This comes as a major surprise, as Mitchell had most frequently been linked to the New York Knicks. However, the Knicks balked at Utah’s asking price, and it appears to have cost them. The Cavaliers were linked to Mitchell, but not aggressively, and one report even suggested that they were out of the running as recently as this week.

Mitchell will pair with Darius Garland to form what should be a dynamic backcourt in Cleveland. Mitchell averaged 25.9 points and 5.3 assists per game with Utah last season, and the arrival of the 25-year-old should make the Cavaliers a legitimate playoff threat in the Eastern Conference.

Report: Cavaliers have discussed Collin Sexton trade with Western Conference team

Collin Sexton holds a ball

Jan 4, 2021; Orlando, Florida, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (2) passes the ball during pregame against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Collin Sexton’s NBA future remains unclear, but the Cleveland Cavaliers have at least looked into solutions for the guard.

On Cleveland.com’s Aug. 19 episode of the “Wine and Gold Talk” podcast, Chris Fedor revealed that the Cavaliers have had discussions with the Dallas Mavericks about a sign-and-trade involving Sexton. However, the discussions did not go far, as the Mavericks could not offer anything of interest to Cleveland.

“The Cavs have had conversations with Dallas about a sign-and-trade for Collin Sexton,” Fedor said (roughly 32:40 of the podcast). “But if you’re talking about a sign-and-trade, the Cavs need something back that is going to be valuable to them. And neither the Jazz nor the Mavericks have the pieces that the Cavs would want back in a sign-and-trade for Collin.”

The Mavericks do make sense as a destination for Sexton, as they would be looking to replace some of the production they will lose by Jalen Brunson’s departure. However, they clearly do not value Sexton highly enough to give up a piece that the Cavaliers would find appealing.

Sexton, a restricted free agent, has averaged 20 points per game in parts of four NBA seasons. The 23-year-old appears to have fallen out of favor with Cleveland, and the two sides are not close in terms of their valuation of the guard.

Video: Ex-Cavaliers guard throws punch during pro-am game

Brandon Goodwin looking on

Jan 22, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Brandon Goodwin (0) reacts after their win against the LA Clippers at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

This past weekend saw some malice at the pro-am.

Ex-Cleveland Cavaliers guard Brandon Goodwin participated in a pro-am game in Atlanta on Sunday. At one point in the contest, Goodwin lost his cool and threw a punch at Denver Nuggets guard Bones Hyland. The punch did not connect however, and the two were quickly separated. Here is the video (with Goodwin wearing the dark No. 0 jersey).

Goodwin played on a two-way contract with the Cavs last season but is still looking for a new team. He was previously on the Nuggets in 2018-19 but was not teammates with Hyland, who was a rookie last year.

The full sequence that led up to the altercation between Goodwin and Hyland can be seen in the highlight video below.

Pro-am games provide some of the most pure and exciting basketball of the NBA offseason. But they can also get extremely heated, as we also saw during a different pro-am competition over the weekend.

Andrew Wiggins being targeted by 1 interesting team?

Andrew Wiggins shooting the ball

February 23, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Andrew Wiggins (22) warms up before the game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Wiggins has some jewelry now, and that could make him a target for one particularly interesting NBA team.

Cleveland Cavaliers writer Evan Dammarell reports Friday that the Golden State Warriors All-Star swingman Wiggins is a name to keep an eye on for the Cavs. Dammarell adds that Cleveland has floated around the idea of a reunion with Wiggins for a while now (but adds that a potential pursuit of Wiggins would take place next summer, not this summer).

The 27-year-old Wiggins is at his zenith right now. He just completed a near career-best year and one in which he was the second-most important player on a title-winning team. But Wiggins is signed for just one more season (at $33.6 million), and the Warriors may not be able to afford him longer-term.

As for the Cavs, they are set both up high (with newly-supermaxed Darius Garland and possibly a returning Collin Sexton) and down low (with human pencil erasers Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen). But the wing is a little bit less certain for them, especially since current starting 3 Caris LeVert will also be a free agent after the 2022-23 season.

You may recall that Cleveland drafted Wiggins No. 1 overall in 2014 before trading him to Minnesota as part of the Kevin Love blockbuster. A reunion nearly a decade later would be a very interesting outcome and one that we have already heard before could be possible.

Report reveals Cavaliers’ stance on LeBron James reunion

LeBron James in a purple Lakers sweater

Dec 9, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) warms-up prior to the game against the Memphis Grizzles at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James is entering the final year of his current contract, and there remain questions about how he will handle his next deal. One possible scenario that has been tossed around, however, seems unlikely.

The Cleveland Cavaliers do not have any expectation that James will want to return to the organization for a third time, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic. While the Cavaliers would theoretically have the cap space to bring James in next summer, James and his family are happy in Los Angeles, and a return to Ohio seems unlikely.

James sparked speculation in February when he left the door open to an eventual return to Cleveland, where he won an NBA title in 2016. Even then, however, it was said that the Cavaliers simply were not that eager to make that happen again, partly to avoid disrupting the established young core led by Darius Garland.

Even recently, James has been somewhat nostalgic for his Cleveland days. For now, nostalgia appears to be all it will be.