Central Notes: Love, Meeks, Monroe, Noah

The Cavaliers re-signed Kevin Love to a five-year max deal this summer, and LeBron James indicated Wednesday that getting the former All-Star involved is the team’s top offensive priority, notes Joe Vardon of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Love is so far the team’s second-leading scorer, at 17.5 points per game, a point behind James.

“We’ll use Kevin however he wants to be used,” James said. “I told you Kevin is going to be our main focus. He’s going to have a hell of a season. He’s going to get back to that All-Star status. He’s the focal point of us offensively. I know I can go out and get mine when I need it. But I need Kev to be as aggressive as he was tonight, and when he rebounds at the level he did tonight, the shots will automatically fall for him.”

See more from the Central Division:

  • Jodie Meeks suffered a Jones fracture to his right foot during the Pistons game Wednesday, coach/executive Stan Van Gundy told reporters, according to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. It’s an injury that some doctors say requires four to six weeks for recovery in some cases, Ellis tweets, though the team hasn’t released a timetable and specifics are scarce, Ellis notes.
  • Caron Butler played a half-season for the Bucks in 2013/14 and was briefly on the roster following this year’s Ersan Ilyasova trade, but Milwaukee can thank the native of nearby Racine for his hand in helping the team successfully recruit Greg Monroe, as Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times details. Butler, now with the Kings, and Monroe were teammates on the Pistons last season. “He grew up around here [Milwaukee] and played here and I listened to what he would say about Milwaukee,’’ Monroe said of Butler. “He had some positive things to say about being here. He also definitely played a role in me coming here.’’
  • Joakim Noah came to Fred Hoiberg with the suggestion that the Bulls start Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic instead of him, the new Bulls coach tells Grantland’s Zach Lowe. Noah was No. 8 in the 2016 Free Agent Power Rankings we compiled before the start of camp, though he figures to drop in the upcoming edition of our rankings now that he’s coming off the bench.

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