It does not sound like you should expect to see a massive rebuild if LeBron James leaves the Cleveland Cavaliers this summer.
According to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, the Cavaliers have no plans to trade forward Kevin Love even if James departs via free agency. Cleveland would instead prefer to keep Love and try to build a playoff team without James instead of tearing it all down and starting over.
“There is no reason to go backwards,” one source said of the Cavaliers moving forward without James.
In fact, Love’s best shot of remaining in Cleveland may be if James leaves. A source added that nobody on the roster would be untouchable in a scenario in which James returns, as the Cavaliers would look for opportunities to add veteran talent around him. Otherwise, a James departure would likely mean a team built around Love and rookie Collin Sexton, and would also give them the financial room to maneuver and bring in some new supplementary pieces.
Love has voiced a desire to remain in Cleveland despite the constant trade rumors that surround him. It sounds as though he may get his wish.
Kevin Love’s Cleveland Cavaliers career hasn’t always been rosy, but he doesn’t want it to end just yet.
Love said that if it’s up to him, he’d like to remain in Cleveland, though he knows the trade rumors are about to ramp up yet again.
“Anything is possible,” Love said, via Matthew Florjancic of WYKC. “People have been saying that for the past four years. I knew that question would come, but I like to be here. I’ve always said that. Always wanted to win here.”
Love admitted that he’d prefer to be joined by LeBron James, but understands that’s a decision yet to be made.
“It’s something where I’m sure he will spend time with his family and when that times comes to make a decision, he will be in a good frame of mind,” Love said. “Obviously, I’d love to play with LeBron the rest of my career, but that will be a choice that he makes.”
Love may not get his wish. Reports indicate that the Cavaliers would be prepared to blow it all up if James leaves Cleveland this summer.
- Kevin Love
Tristan Thompson may be facing disciplinary action from the NBA for the scuffle he was involved in late in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, but Kevin Love is confident the same will not be true for him.
Thompson was ejected with 2.6 seconds remaining in the game when he threw an elbow into Warriors guard Shaun Livingston, who was attempting a meaningless jump-shot. As Thompson was leaving the court, he shoved Draymond Green and a scrum broke out.
Draymond Green: "YOU CHEATED ON YOUR GIRL WHILE SHE WAS PREGNANT "
Tristan Thompson: pic.twitter.com/EiFDELvwJc
— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) June 1, 2018
During that shoving match, Love was seen walking onto the court. Leaving the bench area during a fight is supposed to trigger an automatic suspension in the NBA, but Love insists he was already on the court trying to get the officials’ attention before the scuffle began. This video seems to support his claim:
Kevin Love told me he left the bench in OT to argue the call on Tristan, walking onto the court to get in the officials' eyeline, not in reaction to any scuffle & before it even broke out. Video (via @bballbreakdown) seems to back this up; not sure if it will matter to the league pic.twitter.com/JeHmd6Fl2p
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) June 1, 2018
As soon as Thompson threw the first shove, Love turned around and headed back to the bench area. He shouldn’t have been on the court in the first place, but walking out to get a referee’s attention doesn’t result in an automatic suspension like walking out during a fight does.
Thompson should probably be more worried about being suspended than Love. The Cavaliers big man had already been ejected before he took part in the extracurricular activities, so the NBA will have to determine if he left the court in a timely fashion. Plus, his explanation for why he was so upset may not hold a lot of weight.
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The Cleveland Cavaliers received some good news on Thursday that should give them a much better chance to upset the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
After he missed Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals with a concussion, Kevin Love has cleared the league’s concussion protocol and will play in Game 1 on Thursday night.
The Cavs say Kevin Love has completed the NBA’s Concussion Return to Play Program and will be available to play tonight in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) May 31, 2018
Love sustained the head injury following a nasty collision with Jayson Tatum, and he even had to watch most of Game 7 from the locker room because the noise and bright lights at TD Garden were causing issues for him.
The Cavs will still be huge underdogs to win their series against Golden State, but it goes without saying that they should be a stronger team with Love in the mix.
Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said the team still isn’t sure if Kevin Love will recover from his concussion in time to play in Thursday’s Game 1.
Lue said Wednesday that Love was still questionable for the NBA Finals opener, but if he played, he would start.
Ty Lue says that he hopes Kevin Love will play in Game 1, but he is still unsure if that happens. He said he will not being Love off the bench. If he plays, he starts.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 30, 2018
Love missed the majority of Game 6 and all of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals after suffering a concussion early on in Game 6. He’ll likely feature fairly early on, but perhaps not in Game 1.
Love won’t be the only key player out of Game 1, but he might be the most important absence for the Finals opener.
For the fourth year in a row, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors will meet in the NBA Finals. Unlike past years, it hasn’t been a cakewalk for either team, with the Cavaliers forced to win Game 7s against both the Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics, while the Warriors had to fight back from 3-2 down against the Houston Rockets.
The Warriors are heavily favored, owing to Cleveland’s thin roster and lack of support for LeBron James. Still, this series isn’t a slam dunk, and several players on each side will determine how it goes. Here are ten players who will determine the next NBA champions.
10) J.R. Smith, Cavaliers
Once such an important part of Cleveland’s 2016 title run, Smith’s influence has diminished a bit, though he still holds down a starting role. Nobody will mind in Cleveland if his defense is good; the Cavaliers will need him to be at his very best defending Golden State’s perimeter scorers such as Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and Klay Thompson. He’s arguably their best option to defend that perimeter outside of James, and if he can knock down a few threes in the process, that’s even better.
The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Boston Celtics on the road in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals despite not having Kevin Love, and they may have to begin the NBA Finals the same way.
Love, who suffered a concussion in Game 6 against Boston, remained in the NBA’s concussion protocol as of Tuesday. With Game 1 of the NBA Finals taking place on Thursday, Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue told reporters he is unsure if Love will be available.
Ty Lue says that Kevin Love is still in the concussion protocol and he’s “not sure” if he’ll be available for Game 1.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 29, 2018
It would obviously be a major blow to Cleveland if Love is unable to play, especially now that they are facing an offensive powerhouse like Golden State. The Cavs were able to get away with only scoring 87 points on the road against the Celtics on Sunday, but they will almost certainly need significantly more than that to top the Warriors.
The Warriors may be missing one of their key players to start the Finals as well, but they are a much deeper team than the Cavs. Love’s status is a major storyline in the series.