Since the day LeBron James announced that he was leaving the Cavaliers to sign with the Lakers, few players have been cited as trade candidates more frequently than Kevin Love. Those trade rumors persisted even after Love signed a four-year contract extension with the rebuilding Cavs last summer, but the five-time All-Star insists he has no desire to leave Cleveland for a team closer to title contention, as he tells Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.
“I do want to be here. I always have,” Love said. “I say that knowing it’s the NBA and it’s a business. I think especially after seeing last year, the summer leading up to last year and this summer, the changeover is like unprecedented so you don’t know what is going to happen.
“If they decide to go completely young … and that could be the case, but it’s funny, my agent didn’t call me one time this summer to say, ‘Hey, you’re getting traded, there’s talks that this is happening.’ Of course, somehow it’s still out there and people are talking about, ‘Oh, Kevin would be great here or great there.’ I just keep it moving and try to do right by these guys because we have a good group.”
Love, who turned 31 last month, missed most of the 2018/19 season due to a foot injury. He appeared in just 22 games, averaging 17.0 PPG and 10.9 RPG in 27.2 minutes per contest with a career-worst .385 FG%. As he enters the first season of his four-year extension, he’s hoping for a bounce-back year and has raved about new head coach John Beilein, whom Love believes has “breathed new life into us,” per Fedor.
Meanwhile, the Cavs’ stance on Love hasn’t changed, according to Fedor. Cleveland would consider moving the veteran if the right offer comes in, but sources tell Fedor the club would have to be “blown away” by a package of young players and draft picks.
Love, who says he feels comfortable in Cleveland and has “embraced” the city and its fans, knows that his four-year contract doesn’t offer any guarantees and that it’s entirely possible he won’t be a Cavalier by this year’s trade deadline. However, he vowed to continue giving the team his best effort, whether he’s in Cleveland for another four years or just another four months.
“If they do decide (to move on), then at least I would have laid a really, really great foundation and done right by the whole team,” Love said. “Hopefully people will see that, know that no matter what goes down, how it goes down, I will always do right by the city of Cleveland. They’ve done right by me and stuck with me.”