JANUARY 23, 11:33am: There was “frustration all around” during the Cavs’ team meeting on Monday, according to Tom Withers of The Associated Press, who suggests that frustration wasn’t aimed solely at Love. In his full report on the meeting, Wojnarowski writes that various team members have received blame within factions of the locker room for the club’s struggles — Love, Isaiah Thomas, Lue, Koby Altman, and Dan Gilbert are among those targets, league sources told Woj.
JANUARY 22, 9:30pm: During an emotional team meeting, Kevin Love‘s teammates questioned whether he was truly sick when he left the Cavaliers’ 148-124 loss against the Thunder on Saturday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. Love also missed Sunday’s practice and numerous teammates challenged him verbally during the meeting prior to Monday’s practice, Wojnarowski continues, citing league sources.
Love defended himself to teammates, coaches and management and there was a sense that team had worked out some issues, Wojnarowski adds (Twitter links). Love played just three minutes during the Oklahoma City debacle after complaining of dizziness and flu-like symptoms.
Clearly, there’s plenty of tension in the Cavs’ locker room as the team has gone into a deep slump. Cleveland has lost 10 of its last 14 games and there have been whispers that coach Tyronn Lue is on the hot seat.
The fact that Love’s dedication is under fire raises questions anew about his future with the club. It was reported early in the season that Cleveland would be willing to deal Love for an athletic swingman who could guard multiple positions. Love has seen a substantial amount of playing time at center this season, so potential suitors could view the natural power forward as a solution at two different spots.
Love has two years remaining on his contract after this season. He’ll make $24.1MM next season and holds a player option of $25.9MM for the 2019/20 season.