Speaking with reporters in the aftermath of Thursday’s trade deadline, Cleveland Cavaliers president Koby Altman says that veteran forward Kevin Love isn’t expected to become a buyout candidate, according to ESPN’s Danny Cunningham.
Love has lasted through several seasons of trade rumors that started before LeBron James even left Cleveland (for the second time). Praised around the league for his 3-point prowess and in Cavs’ circles for his locker room presence, his talent and character have largely shielded him from criticisms about his defense and physical decline.
However, after trading for All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell amid a contract dispute with the polarizing Collin Sexton, the Cavs clearly believe they’ve taken a major step forward as a franchise. No longer in rebuild mode, Cleveland has the look of Finals contender this season. Whether that be a conference championship or league championship still isn’t clear, but the Cavs are finally being taken seriously again.
As a result, they’ve become more serious about their decision-making and less sentimental, even telling Love that forward Dean Wade would be taking his spot in the rotation.
Nonetheless, its contract buyout season as veterans and recently traded players look to take their future into their own hands. Love, a 15-year veteran on the trade block and out of the rotation, looks the part of a buyout candidate as well as anyone on the surface.
He just isn’t.
Kevin Love and the Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t ready to see what life is apart from one another yet. But after nine seasons together, who can blame them?