Kevin Love had several battles in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, but he may actually end up wearing their jersey before long.
Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle reported this week that there is a growing sentiment around the league that Love will negotiate a buyout with the Cleveland Cavaliers and sign a veteran minimum deal with a contender. Simmons notes that the Warriors are one such option.
A buyout will not be easy since Love is still owed a colossal $60 million over the next two seasons. But his role with the Cavs has increasingly diminished in recent years. It could shrink even further next season.
Love, 32, is a California native and grew up in the Pacific Northwest city of Lake Oswego, Oreg. He will be playing with Warriors star Draymond Green on the United States Olympic team this summer. Love was also famously childhood friends with Klay Thompson as the two played Little League Baseball together.
Kevin Love battled injuries this past season and averaged career-lows in many statistical categories, but it sounds like there could still be a robust trade market for him this summer.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to explore trade possibilities for Love this offseason. According to Sam Amico of Hoops Wire, there are at least five teams that have interest in the 32-year-old — the New Orleans Pelicans, Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers.
New Orleans would be an interesting spot for Love. The Pelicans have a core of young players in Zion Williams, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball that have seemingly infinite potential. They could use a veteran presence like Love now that they ousted Stan Van Gundy after just one season with the team.
The other four teams should all be playoff contenders and may consider Love a piece that could help put them over the top.
Love averaged 12.2 points and 7.4 rebounds this year, which were the worst marks of his career.
Kevin Love will be making $31.2 million from the Cleveland Cavaliers next season, but he may not have to do a whole lot in order to collect it.
Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reported this week that Love’s role with the Cavs is expected to shrink next season. Fedor notes the continued presence of Jarrett Allen and Larry Nance Jr. in the Cleveland frontcourt. The Cavs also have the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft. Fedor mentions USC seven-footer Evan Mobley as a candidate to be selected with that pick.
Love, 32, just finished his seventh season in Cleveland. He seems to be getting more marginalized with each passing year, averaging only 12.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game in 25 appearances in 2020-21. Those were Love’s lowest averages since his rookie season in 2008-09.
It has been obvious for a while that Love does not really fit in with the plans of the rebuilding Cavs. He is still under contract through 2023 however so the former All-Star Love may be hoping for a buyout or to somehow receive a trade to this preferred destination of his.
Jalen Rose came under heavy criticism recently when he said he believes Kevin Love only received an invite to play for Team USA at the Olympics because he is white. It does not sound like Rose’s opinion has changed, but the NBA analyst has issued an apology.
“You don’t have to like my opinion, you don’t have to like me. There’s a lot of people trying to assassinate my character or whatever, but those people, some of them, have been doing to for like 30 years … that’s how it is when you have the nerve in a lot of peoples’ estimation to be outspoken,” Rose said, as transcribed by Ryan Gaydos of FOX News.
“But you know why I’m apologizing right now? To the game. Because I’m what the game made me,” he added. “I was raised by the all-time greats and you know what I would never want to do? Disappoint [Rose’s late mother] Jeanie Rose or disappoint the all-time greats that raised me.”
Rose failed to mention last week that the United States sent an all-black team to the Rio Olympics in 2016, and that team won a gold medal. The 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympic teams were all also all-black. He insists he was aware of that.
“If I felt like the reasoning is because we didn’t necessarily want to send an all-Black squad, it don’t mean that I don’t know we hadn’t sent one in the past,” Rose said.
Rose reiterated later in the video that he wanted to “apologize to the game.” He seemed to make it a point to not apologize to Love, and he said he thinks even Love was shocked to get the invite.
Love averaged 12.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game this year for Cleveland, which is why Rose believes he received a special invite due to the color of his skin. However, history would indicate Team USA has no problem sending an all-black squad to the Olympics.
“Kevin Love is on the team because of tokenism,” said Rose, per Cavaliers Nation. “Don’t be scared to make an all-black team representing the United States of America. I’m disappointed by that. Anybody that watched the league this year knows Kevin Love did not have a stellar season, was not the best player on his team, and did not necessarily deserve to be on this squad.
“I’m gonna tell you whose spot that should be,” Rose went on. “That should be a young man that was born in the Bahamas, that as a McDonald’s All-American played in high school and college in Phoenix, Arizona. Deandre Ayton should have Kevin Love’s spot. I’m disappointed in Team USA for not having the courage to send an all-black team to the Olympics.”
Rose also noted in the segment the supposed “favoritism” that Christian Laettner received in making the 1992 “Dream Team” over the likes of Shaquille O’Neal and Alonzo Mourning.
What Rose fails to mention is the fact that the United States already sent an all-black team to represent them at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, a team that won the gold medal. The 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympic teams were all also all-black. Plus, Love has also already paid his dues at the national level. He was a part of the 2012 team that won gold at the London Games as well.
From a purely basketball standpoint, Love brings an important skillset to balance out the United States roster. Bam Adebayo and Draymond Green are their other potential center options. That means Love’s three-point shooting will be important to properly space the floor.
Rose, who has had similarly questionable moments before, is correct in alluding to Love’s mediocre averages of 12.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game this year for Cleveland. But there are plenty of race-neutral reasons why Love is well-deserving of a spot on this year’s Olympic team.
Kevin Love has a championship ring and over $200 million in career earnings. But one thing he is still missing is an opportunity to play at home.
In a recent appearance on Yahoo! Sports “Posted Up” with Chris Haynes, the Cleveland Cavaliers big man was asked if he was interested in going to the Portland Trail Blazers. Love grew up and attended high school in Lake Oswego, Ore.
“By the way, who wouldn’t want to play with Dame Lillard, first of all?” replied Love. “Dame is, he’s special. He’s amazing.
“I claim Portland,” the five-time All-Star went on. “People asked me where I’m from. I spent all my formative years, I grew up in Portland. People ask me where I was born, obviously I say LA. But Portland is always going to be a special place in my heart. Whether it be at the end of my career, whether it be in six months. Whatever it may be. If I was wearing a Portland jersey, that’s special, right? That’s playing at home.”
Love’s mind-boggling play handed the Raptors a free basket late in the third quarter. It was unclear exactly what he was upset about, but he may have been expressing his displeasure over some no-calls. You can see the video here.
Love’s Cavaliers were playing shorthanded as seven players were out. They also were on the second game of a back-to-back and arrived in Tampa at 3:00 a.m. the day of the game. A lot of factors were not working in their favor, so Love’s seemingly immature outburst was the last thing they needed.
Kevin Love ducked the media after throwing a temper tantrum in his Cleveland Cavaliers’ loss to the Toronto Raptors on Monday night.
Love’s Cavaliers were playing shorthanded as seven players were out. They also were on the second game of a back-to-back and arrived in Tampa at 3:00 AM the day of the game. At lot of factors were not working in their favor. The last thing they needed was someone not playing hard, but that was Love.
First, he made a mind-boggling play late in the third quarter and just gave Toronto a basket (video here). He then got benched the rest of the game and headed to the locker room before the final buzzer.
Cleveland.com Cavs reporter Chris Fedor reported that Love did not speak with the media after the loss.
Kevin Love did not speak with the media following the game.
Kevin Love made such an odd play late in his Cleveland Cavaliers’ 112-96 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Monday night that it looked like he was shaving points.
Love seemed to be upset with an official, possibly over the way the ball was given to him from such a long distance in order for him to take it out after a Malachi Flynn layup late in the third quarter. Love rejected the ball, but it ended up in the court. The Raptors got a steal and Stanley Johnson passed to Flynn for a 3-pointer.
What in the world was Love doing? That’s such an embarrassing play.
Love was upset about some no-calls from the refs, including after he was pushed in the back.
this will help to explain, Love was frustrated after a couple non-calls, including the Cavs made basket before this and after getting shoved in the back you can see his frustration with the referees pic.twitter.com/PbrdNiFa2z
As if the inbounds sequence weren’t bad enough, the way Love just walked without even hustling made it even worse. He was just done.
The Cavaliers replaced him to start the fourth quarter, and he did not return. Love had 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Love is making over $31 million this season for that. That’s why some teammates seem to feel he is overpaid.
One former Bruin shouted out a current Bruin after UCLA’s big win over Michigan on Tuesday night.
UCLA defeated Michigan 51-49 in the East Region finals to advance to the Final Four. Johnny Juzang has been the star of the NCAA Tournament for the Bruins and on Tuesday continued to carry them.
Juzang scored 28 of UCLA’s 51 points and now has 108 points over five games in the tournament. That puts him just behind UCLA legends Lew Alcindor and tied with Bill Walton for the most points through five NCAA Tournament games.
Former Bruin Kevin Love, who played for UCLA in the 2007-2008 season, shouted out Juzang after the game.
Bruins Final Four bound!!! Man Johnny Juzang was great!!! Hell of a fight!!!
Love’s Bruins also made the Final Four, though they lost to Memphis before reaching the championship game. Juzang is aiming to take his Bruins farther in the Big Dance. They will have to beat No. 1 Gonzaga on Saturday in order to do so.