Cavaliers forward Kevin Love apologized to his team after committing a turnover out of frustration during Monday night’s game that led to an easy Raptors three-pointer, writes Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Love, who was upset about a non-call, angrily swatted at the ball when a referee threw it to him to inbound — that swat put the ball in play, where it was snatched up by Raptors forward Stanley Johnson, leading to a Malachi Flynn three (video link).
It was a childish outburst from a player who is ostensibly one of the Cavaliers’ veteran leaders, contends Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. According to Haynes, the club intends to handle the matter internally and may fine Love, though Jason Lloyd of The Athletic suggests a one-game suspension might be a more appropriate penalty.
Haynes writes that the incident – which isn’t the first time that the former All-Star has expressed frustration with his in-game actions – will lead to questions about whether Love’s time in Cleveland may come to an end this offseason, and Lloyd also wonders if the two sides should discuss parting ways. However, Love still has two years left on his contract after this season, and the $60MM in guaranteed money left on that deal will make it challenging for the Cavaliers to find a favorable trade.
Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:
- In his latest mailbag, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer considers what the Hornets‘ starting lineup and rotation would look like if the team is able to get LaMelo Ball, Gordon Hayward, and Malik Monk back healthy by the end of the regular season. Bonnell thinks P.J. Washington, Miles Bridges, and Terry Rozier would be the starters alongside Ball and Hayward, with Monk, Devonte’ Graham, and Cody Martin among those first off the bench.
- Magic head coach Steve Clifford remains in the NBA’s health and safety protocols and isn’t traveling with the club to Cleveland for Wednesday’s game, tweets Roy Parry of The Orlando Sentinel. Clifford is still asymptomatic and feeling good after registering a positive test for COVID-19.
- While it’s safe to say Nikola Vucevic will be with the Bulls next season, Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic is curious what the team’s plans are going forward for other key frontcourt players like Lauri Markkanen, Daniel Theis, and Thaddeus Young. Markkanen will be a restricted free agent this summer, while Theis will be unrestricted and Young will be entering a contract year.