5:05pm: Love will miss Cleveland’s second-round series because of his shoulder injury, the team says, according to Tom Withers of The Associated Press (Twitter link). It’s a left shoulder dislocation, as the team details.
8:58am: People around the Cavaliers and the rest of the league have been of the belief that Kevin Love wouldn’t hesitate to leave Cleveland, but the shoulder injury he suffered in Sunday’s game throws Love’s future into flux, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The Celtics had made up ground on the Lakers on Love’s list of preferred destinations, and while Boston was no certainty for Love, they had a better shot than many thought, Wojnarowski writes. However, the tangle with Kelly Olynyk in which Love was injured, a “bush-league play” as Love described it, left the All-Star with a “legitimate loathing” of the Celtics, as Wojnarowski put it. The Cavs expect Love to miss at least the next two weeks, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reported earlier.
Love said in January that he planned to pick up his player option of more than $16.744MM for next season, even though there’s a strong chance he could earn more next year on a new maximum-salary deal. However, teams who’ve investigated the possibility of chasing Love are convinced he’ll “minimally explore” the free agent market this summer, according to Wojnarowski. Love was intrigued with the possibility of playing for the Celtics after visiting Boston last spring, and people who know Love and Celtics coach Brad Stevens believe the Celtics would have become the front-runners once Love took a meeting with the C’s, as Wojnarowski details.
The Yahoo! scribe suggests that the confrontation Kendrick Perkins had with Jae Crowder and the flagrant foul J.R. Smith delivered later on Crowder demonstrated that the Cavs were in Love’s corner and sought a measure of revenge for his injury. Still, none of the Cavs went quite as far as Love did in comments about the play in which Love was hurt, with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving probably going the farthest to support Love in saying that it wasn’t a basketball play, as Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal writes in his Final Thoughts column.
“I’ve seen a lot of tie-ups in my day and that tie-in was a little different,” James said. “We were very upset that it happened.”
The Celtics would probably need to convince Love that Olynyk’s move, in which he hooked Love’s arm as they chased a loose ball, wasn’t intended to hurt him, Wojnarowski surmises, having heard private suggestions from the Celtics that it happened in part because of Olynyk’s “uncoordinated,” “awkward” nature. Several Celtics went on the record with similar statements to Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald. Gerald Wallace said it’s simply how Olynyk has to play, and Evan Turner looked at Tyler Zeller and asked, “Tyler? Doesn’t he foul that way every day in practice?” Olynyk denies trying to injure Love, as Murphy also relays.