Kevin Love has been activated and will be back in action on Thursday, according to team’s official Twitter feed. The Cavaliers have played without their starting power forward for over a month, as he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on February 14th. Love told reporters, including Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, that he was anxious to return after practicing on Wednesday. “I’m 28 years old, I feel like I’m just coming into the league again because I’m so antsy to get back,” Love said. “It’s good. You’ve got to trust the process, respect the process and give that leg time to heal, give injuries time to heal. But it’s not for lack of wanting to be out there.”
In other news around the Central Division:
- The Bulls can hit the reset button if Dwyane Wade opts out of his contract, ESPN.com’s NBA analyst Kevin Pelton opines. The club could have significant cap space this summer if Wade, now out for the remainder of the regular season with a fractured elbow, turns down his $23.8MM player option and becomes a free agent again. That cap space could grow to approximately $50MM if the Bulls waive Rajon Rondo and stretch out his guaranteed money while also renouncing the rights to their other free agents, Pelton explains. Wade would probably have to settle for much less on the free agent market but opting out would allow him to join a contender such as the Cavaliers or Clippers, Pelton adds. The Spurs or even Warriors could be other possible suitors if Wade goes that route, according to the Sporting News’ Sean Deveney, and the Bucks and Nuggets would also check in on him since they showed interest last summer.
- Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue had to get permission to play newly-signed center Larry Sanders on Wednesday, according to Joe Vardon of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Lue sent a ball boy into the stands during the team’s blowout victory over the Pistons to ask GM David Griffin if it was OK to play Sanders, who was supposed to get some work in the D League before making his Cleveland debut. Sanders wound up playing two minutes. “I really just wanted to introduce him to the crowd and have him get in, give him a chance to have a standing ovation,” told reporters including Vardon. “I thought it was good for him.”
- The Pistons have only two players — Andre Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope — remaining on the roster since Stan Van Gundy became head coach and president of basketball operations. The only current rotation player that he drafted is backup swingman Stanley Johnson. That’s not a coincidence, since Van Gundy is more comfortable acquiring proven players. “It’s easier with pro guys in trades and free agency than it is with college guys in the draft,” he told the assembled media, including Hoops Rumors. “You get these one-and-done guys and you’re trying to figure it out to what they’re going to be four or five years down the road. That’s a lot more of a challenge. At least [with experienced players], they’ve got a body of work and they’ve been in NBA systems. You’ve seen them play. You can get pretty good information on them, so you have a better idea of what you’re getting than you do when you go in the draft.”