In NBA trade rumors, there’s been tons of speculation that Kevin Love will be dealt, but Cleveland Cavaliers GM David Griffin nixed all the talk. So, why won’t the Cavs deal their power forward? The coaching change is a good place to start.
Love is already a highly polarizing player. His first year in Cleveland was dominated by will he/won’t he leave headlines. Trade rumors involving the three-time All-Star popped up prior to the game, and hearing a star player so blatantly admit the new coach’s pace of play might fuel speculation that Love is out of town.
Love isn’t going anywhere.
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And Cavs’ nation shouldn’t even need David Griffin to nix the idea, as he did Monday night.
If the max contract Dan Gilbert gave Kevin Love over the summer doesn’t show how committed the Cavs are to Love, they need only to look back to Friday, when the Cavs rocked the NBA by firing David Blatt.
Several factors were at play in the decision to fire Blatt, but his inability to figure out how to maximize Kevin Love was near the top of the list.
With Lue as coach, Griff is counting on Love being one of the players impacted the most.
The Akron Beacon Journal’s Jason Lloyd wrote:
"“The belief, the hope, within the organization is the change from David Blatt to Tyronn Lue will benefit Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving the most. From the sounds of things, Lue is committed to getting Love back in his comfort zone offensively, while the quickened pace benefits Irving.”"
When Irving returned around Christmas, Love went back to being the third wheel, offensively. For whatever reason, Blatt couldn’t figure how to put him into position to succeed. Much has been made about Love not getting the ball on the elbow, something he excelled at in Minnesota.
Maybe Blatt did try to make it happen, and the players just didn’t respond. Either way, that’s on the coach.
This doesn’t mean the Cavs won’t trade him at some point. Love is under contract for four more seasons after the current campaign. But right now, the front office believes they are better with him, than without him, according to Lloyd.
Yes, Love needs to get more involved, because he can be much more than a 3-point shooter, but it’s critical to recognize how vital it is to the Cavs than Love can help stretch the floor. When Love goes down to the corner looking for a shot, the paint clears up for Irving and LeBron James to drive to the rack.
Love isn’t going anywhere. Lue is instituting is pace of play. Why have Love here if he doesn’t figure into the plans for the rest of the season? It’s going to get worse, before it gets better, but if it works, look out. The Cavs may have the remedy to topple Golden State.