Cavaliers’ Kevin Love out six weeks following knee surgery, opens All-Star Game slot

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It was a red flag, a sign something was up when the Cleveland Cavaliers asked for a second opinion on Kevin Love‘s sore knee.

Tuesday morning, Love underwent “arthroscopic surgery to remove a loose body from his left knee,” the team announced. Cleveland estimates he will be out six weeks, which would have him returning right about the first week of April, giving him time to get some games in before the playoffs begin.

Love has been having his best season as a Cavalier, having found a comfort zone playing with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving — the Cavaliers have been 11.5 points per 100 possessions better with Love on the court than off it this season (although there is a lot of noise in that because he plays so much with LeBron and Irving). It took time, but Love adapted his game to fit with the Cavaliers, such as taking more corner threes — 2.6 per game — than he had at any point in his career. Love has averaged 20 points and 11.1 rebounds a game this season.

Love complained of his knee bothering him, and it has swelled up, following Saturday’s win against the Nuggets. Sunday he had an MRI on the knee, and when the team didn’t announce the results but instead went for a second opinion it was clear something was amiss.

Love was slated to be a reserve for the All-Star Game, which leaves NBA Commissioner Adam Silver with a slot to fill.

Traditionally Silver has gone with the next highest vote getter among the coaches (which is not public). If he decides to follow the NBA’s new voting system (fan vote combined with media and player votes), and if he ignores position, it would be Dwyane Wade. That seems unlikely. The more logical move is for Silver to fill the slot with a frontcourt player, and the next highest vote getter would be the Sixers’ Joel Embiid — but he has missed eight straight games due to injury. Next on the voting list would be the Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis, and he seems the most logical guy to get a call. But it is in Silver’s hands.