Tag: Kevin Love

Kevin Love

Kevin Love on if he plans to play next season for the Cavaliers: “Yes, sir”


Since the start of the season Kevin Love has been insistent that he will be back with the Cavaliers next season.

All through the ups-and-downs of a season where he struggled to find his comfort level playing next to LeBron James and Kyrie Irving — and while rumors he wanted out flew around the league — he publicly never waivered from this stance.

That’s not changing now. Love addressed the media on Sunday, and here are some comments, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com.

First off, even if he was thinking of opting out and testing the waters, this is the only thing he would possibly say right now. Especially with the Cavaliers about to tip-off in the Finals.

Love has been out of the playoffs since Boston’s Kelly Olynyk’s tug dislocated his arm in a way that required surgery to fix. The rumors of Love leaving have grown as Tristan Thompson has looked more comfortable in the Cavaliers’ offense. Love has a player option for this summer.

That said I never have thought Love would leave this year. The idea that Love values his touches and points more than being on a winning team (which he would deny) is rooted in an idea of Love’s concern about his image. If he leaves this summer that image will take a beating. Even if he goes to be the face of the Lakers and get the torch from Kobe Bryant (and that always has been the most likely landing spot) the national spin will be “he cared more about his numbers than getting rings, he couldn’t handle the pressure of playing next to LeBron.”

In a year or two that spin may be different. Maybe he’s not a Cavalier long term. But for now, he’d have to really want out of a city and team he pretty much forced his way into. It would not look good.

By the way, Love is looking pretty svelte.

Report: Cavaliers could activate Anderson Varejao in NBA Finals if necessary

Chicago Bulls v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game One

The Cavaliers are down a couple big men, Kevin Love and Anderson Varejao.

That leaves Tristan Thompson and Timofey Mozgov starting with little-used Kendrick Perkins and Brendan Haywood as the only healthy natural power forwards or centers in reserve. LeBron James and Shawn Marion can play down, and even James Jones, Mike Miller and Iman Shumpert can in funky lineups.

But Cleveland doesn’t want to be forced into going small too often.

What happens if Thompson or Mozgov gets hurt?

ESPN Cleveland:

Varejao was slated to miss the entire season with an Achilles tear. If the Cavs need him, they’re probably in trouble.

But once they’re in trouble, activating Varejao very well could become the best way to handle it.

Report: Kevin Love going to “look around” this summer as free agent; Celtics, Lakers, Rockets possible

Kevin Love

Kevin Love has denied that he is going to leave the Cavaliers this summer. Repeatedly.

That has not stopped the chatter around the league that he will consider leaving this summer — the volume of which have gone up since the emergence of Tristan Thompson replacing the injured Love these playoffs.

The most likely outcome is Love remaining a Cavalier and playing alongside LeBron James. However, the well-connected Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports was on The Jason McIntyre Show on Yahoo Sports Radio and said expect Love to test the market. As transcribed at Sheridan Hoops:

“I think he’s going to look around,” Wojnarowski said. “I think he’s going to look closely at Boston. I think he’ll look at LA. I’m sure the Texas teams are going to try and get involved.

“If you remember, he really liked Kevin McHale in Minnesota,” Wojnarowski continued. “Would he fit potentially in Houston? It seems like every summer, they have the ability to go out and create a max slot, and they do this summer again. They know they have the option to do that.

“I think he’ll be in play. He could stay where he is, but there’s no question he’s going to look long and hard at what his options are.”

I expect Love will stay in Cleveland, at least for one more year.

The reason is simple: image. If he bolts Cleveland this summer (particularly to play for the rebuilding Lakers or Celtics) he will look like a guy who cares about his own numbers and being the focal point of a team more than he does winning and rings. The spin (outside the market he chooses) will be “Love couldn’t handle playing next to LeBron” and that he wouldn’t make the sacrifices needed to win. Fair or not, that’s how it will be spun.

Love is concerned about his image, and how the perception of him could impact his ability to get national endorsement deals (among other things). He knows how it would look if he left this summer.

If Love stays for a year or two — particularly if he wins a ring — then says he wants out, he can rightfully say he tried to make it work, but he’s not happy and is leaving. It will feel different than him having played just one year in Cleveland.

Or, maybe he stays next year, they win a title, and he doesn’t want to leave at all.

That’s what he’s said all along. It’s just that a lot of people around the league doubt his sincerity on that front.