Several sources tell Frank Isola of the New York Daily News that LeBron James is frustrated with the failure of Kevin Love to mesh with the Cavs this season, but James isn’t upset that Love believes Russell Westbrook, and not James, has the edge for MVP, notes Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. Love said Wednesday that he believed his comments, which he made on The Dan Patrick Show (video link), were widely taken out of context and that James “could very well be the MVP,” McMenamin adds. Many executives and players don’t think that Love can accept the limited role he’s played on this year’s Cavs team again, writes Michael Lee of The Washington Post, who nonetheless believes that it probably doesn’t matter much that James and Love aren’t the best of friends. As the Love story continues to take on a gossipy edge, here’s more from the Central Division:
- The Pistons plan an all-out push to re-sign Reggie Jackson this summer, and Jackson is hinting that he’s already planning to return to Detroit with comments about playing alongside Andre Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the future, MLive’s Brendan Savage observes.
- The Bucks could have signaled to other players that they would reward those who developed in their system if they’d hung on to soon-to-be restricted free agent Brandon Knight and re-signed him, but trading him set the franchise back, opines Steve Aschburner of NBA.com. Still, coach Jason Kidd told reporters that it’s all part of a plan for the long term. “It’s something much bigger than that that you guys are going to have to wait and write about,” he said. “We’re here to build something, not to do something in six months. There’s a bigger picture. We feel we have a core here that will be around for a long time and have success.”
- Chicago made Nikola Mirotic this season’s highest-paid rookie with a three-year deal worth more than $16.631MM, similar to what the Rockets are reportedly prepared to offer draft-and-stash prospect Sergio Llull. The move is paying off for the Bulls, as Mirotic is making a late push for Rookie of the Year, as ESPN’s Michael Wilbon examines.