Dan Feldman

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue, left, talks with Kevin Love during practice for Game 6 of the NBA basketball Finals, Wednesday, June 15, 2016, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers will play the Golden State Warriors Thursday night in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
AP Photo/Tony Dejak

Tyronn Lue on Cavaliers trading Kevin Love: ‘He’s not going anywhere’

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There are two concurrent storylines running about a Kevin LoveCarmelo Anthony trade:

  1. Do the Cavaliers want to make that deal?
  2. Is LeBron James pushing the Cavaliers to make that deal?

LeBron shot back emphatically when asked about a report claiming the answer to the second question was yes.

As for the first question, Cleveland has sent sent every signal it won’t trade Love for Anthony.

Now — after Love had 39 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three steals in a win over the Wizards — Cavs coach Tyronn Lue is going a step further: Stating on the record that Love won’t be traded at all.

Lue and Love, via Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal:

“We’re going to trade him tonight,” coach Tyronn Lue joked after the game. “Kevin should be happy that teams want him. But he’s not going anywhere.”

Love called the report a lie and cited a quote he heard while watching the HBO show “The Crown.”

“That is a lie. What do they say? A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put his pants on, Love said. “It’s just not true. It’s almost laughable.”

A post shared by @kevinlove on

 

Lue might believe that. He might have heard it from general manager David Griffin.

But I’d prefer to hear that declaration directly from someone empowered to make trades — or at least hear Lue say he’s echoing Griffin.

Coaches and management often disagree on roster construction, but the front office holds the final say. Sometimes, coaches, who meet far more frequently with the media, paint narratives on team-building that don’t match what the general manager is doing behind the scenes.

To best coach Love, Lue needs the forward comfortable and focused. That’s hard to achieve if Love is worried about a trade. So, it behooves Lue to make this declaration. Then, in the unlikely event Cleveland deals Love and invalidates Lue’s decree, Love’s dissatisfaction would immediately become another team’s problem.

Likewise, Love isn’t positioned to declare himself untradeable — no matter how often he repeats his new favorite commonly misattributed quote. If Griffin assured Love that Love wouldn’t be dealt, I’d like to hear that. But it coming from Love with no more context is insufficient. And, even if Griffin told him that, there’s still the possibility of the Cavs prioritizing keeping Love happy rather than being truthful.

This is a step in that direction, but there’s only one way the Cavaliers to shut down every rumor about them trading Love this season: Keep him past the trade deadline.

DeMarcus Cousins, Matt Barnes push Bulls assistant coach (video)

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DeMarcus Cousins drew a suspension-triggering technical foul late in the Kings’ loss to the Bulls last night.

That technical foul also got Cousins ejected, as it was his second of the game.

His first came between the third and fourth quarters, when he and Sacramento teammate Matt Barnes pushed a Chicago assistant coach.

Bulls forward Taj Gibson was arguing with a referee, and assistant Jim Boylen came onto the court to restrain Gibson. Along the way, Cousins and Barnes pushed Boylen. Barnes’ slaps at Boylen were particularly aggressive. Gibson, Cousins and Barnes all received technical fouls.

And Boylen dealt with even more player testiness.

 

Here are multiple angles:

Reggie Jackson drops T.J. McConnell with crossover, drills 3-pointer (video)

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Cleveland reportedly tried trading for 76ers guard T.J. McConnell.

Before pursuing him any further, the Cavaliers better check McConnell’s ankles after what Reggie Jackson did to him. You don’t want to trade for damaged goods.

The Pistons guard earned his prolonged celebration.

LeBron James dunks on Markieff Morris (video)

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I’m not sure whether Markieff Morris actually wanted to contest this shot or just get out of the way.

But LeBron James hit the gas at just the right moment, forcing Morris to do nothing but offer a half-hearted rim protection.

And this wasn’t even LeBron’s best play in the Cavaliers’ win over the Wizards.

Report: Timberwolves signing Lance Stephenson to 10-day contract

lance stephenson
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
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The Cavaliers reportedly narrowed their playmaker search to players willing to accept 10-day contracts, leaving Jordan Farmar and Lance Stephenson from their four-man workout. Farmar got the edge, though Cleveland hasn’t yet signed him.

As for Stephenson, he’s headed elsewhere.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Given how much pressure LeBron James put on the Cavs to add a playmaker, there will be eyes on Stephenson. Did Cleveland correctly bypass him?

Stephenson could play in Minnesota, with Zach LaVine out for the year. But with the Timberwolves so far out of playoff position (4.5 games and five teams), it’s a curious fit. Minnesota president/coach Tom Thibodeau is trying to establish a culture in his first season, and Stephenson, while talented, has often brought attitude problems with him.

Still, it’s just a 10-day deal. What’s the worst that could happen?