While teams and players often avoid directly responding to individual trade rumors and reports, members of the Cavaliers wasted no time in shooting down a Monday rumor involving Kevin Love. After The New York Daily News reported that LeBron James was pushing the Cavs to acquire Carmelo Anthony, even if it meant giving up Love, team and league sources told other outlets that it wasn’t true, and the Cavs publicly pushed back after their dramatic win over the Wizards.
“It’s trash,” James said of the report, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. “And the guy who wrote it is trash too, for writing that, especially during the game like that. So it’s always about outside noise and that’s just outside noise for us. We got to focus on what needs to be done and that’s to continue to compete for a championship. And we got who we got. Our GM (David Griffin) will do a great job of figuring out if we need something else, but right now we’re in a good place.”
Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue suggested that Love should be flattered that other teams want him, but said the big man isn’t going anywhere, and the latest rumors are “not coming from our end.” As for Love, after perhaps his best game of the season, in which he racked up 39 points and 12 rebounds, he was happy to laugh off Monday’s report.
“What do they say?” Love said. “‘A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put his pants on.’ So, it’s a lie. … It’s almost laughable. I’m on this team. I’m going to be on this team. And we want to win with the guys that we have.”
Love indicated last week that he expected to remain with the Cavs for “a long time,” and even though reports at the time suggested that he wasn’t entirely untouchable, a trade is viewed as highly unlikely. The Cavs reportedly have some interest in Anthony, but aren’t actively looking to trade for the Knicks forward, despite New York’s continued pursuit of Love.
While Monday’s story from the Daily News was roundly denied both privately and publicly by Cavs sources, it’s worth noting that Frank Isola wasn’t the only reporter with the scoop. Keith Smith of RealGM.com (Twitter link) also heard from league sources that LeBron has pushed Cleveland to acquire Anthony “at any cost” — Chris Paul has taken a similar approach with the Clippers, per Smith.
The Cavs’ strong and aggressive denial of the report suggests that Love almost certainly isn’t going anywhere, particularly in a deal for Anthony. But the fact that multiple reporters heard from reliable sources that LeBron might be pushing for such a trade means that info is coming from somewhere. It will be interesting to see what moves – if any – Griffin and the Cavs ultimately make in the coming weeks.