Kevin Love’s withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympics is the latest in a disappointing last few years for his basketball career. But the Cleveland Cavaliers big man is not ready to walk away from the game just yet.
Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reported on Saturday that Love is not yet considering retirement despite his injury-hobbled last few seasons. Fedor notes that the soon-to-be 33-year-old still loves the game. However, the Cavs will soon sit down with Love to discuss his future.
Love decided to pull out of the Olympics this week because of the lingering effects of a right calf injury that kept him out for the majority of the NBA season. The five-time All-Star has been limited to just 103 appearances over the last three seasons with various ailments. The time that Love has been on the court is more remembered for his public fits of temper than anything.
Overall though, Love has had a fruitful 13-season NBA career that has netted him multiple All-NBA selections and a championship in 2016. But Love is still owed $60.2 million in guaranteed money over the next two years. That gives him major incentive to stick around. An opportunity to leave Cleveland for greener pastures may also be awaiting Love.
If the Cleveland Cavaliers finally want to close the book on the Kevin Love era, they may have to attach one of their top young assets to make it happen.
Cavs beat writer Jason Lloyd of The Athletic wrote this weekend that it might make sense for Cleveland to package Love and Collin Sexton together in a trade this offseason. Lloyd notes that the 22-year-old Sexton is “very available.”
Love, 32, is already drawing some interest as a potential buyout candidate. But he still has two years and $60.2 million left on his contract, making a buyout more cumbersome. As for Sexton, we recently heard that the Cavs are shopping him. His value may be at a peak after he averaged a team-high 24.3 points per game this season. Cleveland also holds the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft, putting them in the mix for a dynamic guard like Jalen Green or Jalen Suggs.
It would be pretty funny though for Love to finally leave Cleveland and still be teammates with Sexton. After all, the two have not always gotten along.
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.
A Love-Warriors partnership would also be an interesting development after the team came close to trading for him several years ago.
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.
Love almost certainly wants a trade, as a recent report indicated he does not really fit in with Cleveland’s future plans.
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.
Rose said on his “Jalen and Jacoby” show last week that Love’s inclusion on Team USA is “tokenism,” as he believes Team USA is afraid of sending an all-black team to the Olympics. He later apologized in a lengthy Instagram video
“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.
Jalen Rose is not happy with Kevin Love’s presence on the United States Olympic team this year, but it is certainly not for basketball reasons.
Speaking this week on ESPN’s “Jalen and Jacoby,” Rose said that he was disappointed with Love’s inclusion, which he saw as white “tokenism.”
“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, 32, is in his seventh season with the Cavaliers and still has two more remaining on his contract after that. But he does not appear to be too happy where he is right now.
Love did reportedly want to get traded to the Blazers not long ago. It seems inevitable that Love will find his way to Portland before his career ends.
Kevin Love threw an extremely bizarre temper tantrum during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ loss to the Toronto Raptors on Monday night, and the team is reportedly handling the matter internally.
Love apologized to his Cavs teammates after the game, and Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports that the team is focused on moving forward.
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.
If you remember, Love also had some negative issues last season with the Cavs that created headlines. He doesn’t seem to be doing the best job of leading a young team.
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.
Cavs head coach JB Bickerstaff did say that Love at least apologized to his teammates.
Love is getting paid over $31 million on a 21-40 team. The least he could do is provide a good example for the team’s younger players. On Monday, he did the exact opposite. Recall that last year he also had some negative issues that made headlines.