Report: LeBron James frustrated with Kevin Love for not fitting in

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Kevin Love has requested more inside touches, said he’s not a stretch four, said he’s not best friends with LeBron James and chosen Russell Westbrook, not LeBron, as his MVP this season.

Is Love just being honest?

Is he being too honest?

Is he going out of his way to cause trouble?

These are important questions for any contender when dealing with a potential player issue, but it’s especially important with Love, because he can opt out and become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

LeBron reportedly has concerns.

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

Love is viewed by some as an aloof player who alienated teammates in Minnesota and is now doing the same in Cleveland.

several sources close to the situation in Cleveland claim that James has tried to make it work but that he’s frustrated by Love’s inability, and in some ways unwillingness, to get with the program.

Interestingly and potentially ironically, Isola’s report came out just before one of Love’s most cohesive games, Cleveland’s rout of the Grizzlies last night.

Are Love and the Cavaliers developing their relationship? Could this report reverse progress?

There are already plenty of cracks in the foundation.

LeBron “has tried to make it work” by publicly questioning Love’s confidence when Love says he’s fine and admitting a “fit-in” tweet was directed at Love (and then denying it, bringing even more attention to the issue). Plus, David Blatt made a point of saying Love is not a max player and then followed up with an illogical “explanation.” The coach has also repeatedly sat Love in fourth quarters.

It matters only so much which side is at fault, because Love has the power here.

He should opt out after the season, even if it’s just to re-sign with the Cavaliers. If he does, that’ll give other teams an opportunity to make pitches.

Love may or may not listen, but if he does, he’ll probably find teams offering a bigger role and less griping directed at him.

The best way for the Cavaliers to convince Love to stay is to win, and they’ve done a lot of that lately. They look poised to tear through the playoffs, too.

Of course, how deep they advance will depend on Love. Even in a reduce role, he’s an important cog.

Whichever direction this goes, these things have a way of snowballing. That’s why a report of LeBron being frustrated with Love should be one of the last things the Cavaliers wanted to see now.

Rumor: Patrick Beverley may meet with five teams before Clippers

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The Los Angeles Clippers want to bring Patrick Beverley back next season, his spark was at the heart of why this team made the playoffs and impressed with their potential.

First, however, the Clippers are going big game hunting for the likes of Kawhi Leonard and/or Kevin Durant (even with the Achilles injury). Beverley isn’t just going to sit around and wait for them, reports longtime NBA reporter Sean Deveney Tweeted.

The Bulls need a point guard and Beverley — a Chicago native — has said he is interested.

The Lakers also are reportedly big game hunting, but Beverley is the kind of guard they could use around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Phoenix and other teams have been mentioned.

Beverley is going to have options, but he loved his time with the Clippers last season, and that means something.

Pelicans reportedly pick up option year on coach Alvin Gentry

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David Griffin, the guy with the hammer in New Orleans, likes Alvin Gentry. They have a relationship that goes back to Phoenix, where Gentry was the coach and Griffin was in the front office (and was eventually GM).

Gentry also has a style of play — he wants to run and be up-tempo. That should fit very well with soon-to-be No. 1 draft pick Zion Williamson.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise the Griffin and the Pelicans want to keep Gentry around, as reported by Malika Andrews of ESPN.

This is another smart, stabilizing move by Griffin. The Pelicans want to build an athletic, fast-paced team and Gentry is the right coach for that style.  Maybe it doesn’t pan out, maybe the Pelicans ultimately need to go another direction with their coach, but right now this seems a good fit.

Report: Utah “frontrunner” to land Mike Conley Jr. if Memphis trades him this week

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Utah feels like it is close — a 50-win team two seasons in a row, an elite defense, an All-NBA center in Rudy Gobert and an elite shot creator in Donovan Michell. They look at the West next season, with a depleted Warriors team, and see an opening.

Yet when Utah fell to Houston 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs this year, it was reminded of what is keeping the team from being truly elite, and another shot creator and shooter is at the top of that list.

Enter Mike Conley Jr. He averaged 21.1 points and 6.4 assists per game last season, shot 36.4 percent from three, and plays strong defense. Conley would be an upgrade over Ricky Rubio at the spot.

The almost All-Star point guard out of Memphis is available via trade. He’s the kind of veteran floor general, shooter, and shot creator Utah could use. The Jazz and Grizzlies talked but couldn’t come to an agreement at the trade deadline, but the sides are talking again and conversations are “intensifying” in the run-up to the NBA Draft Thursday, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Grizzlies are intensifying talks to potentially move franchise cornerstone Mike Conley Jr., league sources told The Athletic. Memphis has been in conversations with the Jazz and Utah is a frontrunner to acquire Conley should the Grizzlies trade the point guard during draft week, league sources said.

What would be in a trade package? Certainly the No. 23 pick in this draft, plus some young players the Grizzlies like (maybe Grayson Allen, Royce O’Neal, and even someone like Jae Crowder. Reports say Derick Favors is not part of the discussion.

While anything can happen the week of the draft — and things change quickly — don’t be surprised if some version of this trade gets done.

Kawhi Leonard wins day with last laugh — his viral laugh — at end of speech

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Kawhi Leonard just won again.

He won his second NBA title leading the Toronto Raptors to the franchise’s first crown. He earned his second Finals MVP in the process.

Then on Monday he had the last laugh and won the Raptors’ championship parade in Toronto by ending his speech with his laugh, the same one that went viral at the start of the season.

Of course, what Leonard will do on July 1 was a cloud hanging over the parade, Leonard is a free agent this summer. Kyle Lowry at one point started a “five more years” chant during the parade, which is the maximum number of years Toronto can re-sign Leonard for.

Leonard, exactly as we all should have expected, dodged the question, while praising his time in Toronto.

Unfortunately, this was a parade marred by more serious concerns.