Fans and analysts alike have been trying to figure out where NBA champion and five-time All-Star Kevin Love fits best with the Cavaliers undergoing a post-LeBronalyptic rebuild. Yet, if you ask Love himself, the answer is Cleveland.
Tons of trade speculation has surrounded the UCLA product, and many scratched their heads when he signed four-year, $120 million extension with the Cavs right after LeBron James bolted for Los Angeles. After playing third fiddle to The King and Kyrie Irving, Love has fully assumed the role of a franchise leader, being the oldest player on the Cavs roster.
Love is the only player on the Cavs with double-digit years in NBA experience (11) and the only player older than 30. Rebuilds tend to go well when young talent grows together, but a seasoned veteran presence is needed, and Love is now that guy.
“If they decide to go completely young … and that could be the case, but it’s funny, my agent didn’t call me one time this summer to say, ‘Hey, you’re getting traded, there’s talks that this is happening,'" Love told Cleveland.com. "I just keep it moving and try to do right by these guys because we have a good group.”
The conventional route for a player of Love's stature would be to join a contender and try to win another ring -- perhaps a team like Denver or Portland that could use another established star to get them over the hump. But Love has spent the last five seasons in Cleveland and is coming off an injury-plagued, 22-game season -- he still has to prove some doubters wrong.