After agreeing to a contract buyout with the Cleveland Cavaliers and signing with the Miami Heat soon after, veteran forward Kevin Love‘s relationship with the Cavs’ front office is “currently strained,” reports Chris Fedor of The Plain Dealer.
Fedor, a longtime Cavs insider, describes the current status of the relationship as “a byproduct of how recent events unfolded.”
Furthermore, Fedor asserts that part of what led to Cleveland opting to grant Love a contract buyout were concerns about how he would handle his diminished role. With “no plans to re-insert him into the lineup,” the Cavs feared putting Love in a position to throw a tantrum similar to his embarrassing behavior in Apr. 2021.
Love will always be a part of Cavs folklore.
Handpicked by the best player in franchise history to be part of a Big 3, for a time Love epitomized both team loyalty and individual sacrifice. His prime years, ones where he could have been in Minnesota putting up massive numbers for the Timberwolves, were spent in Cleveland playing sidekick.
However, Love failed to lead and produce at a high enough level after LeBron and Kyrie Irving both departed. Whether it was Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, or Donovan Mitchell, it was made clear that Love — though calculated in his attack — simply didn’t put enough pressure on defenses. To make matters worse, his defense was an eyesore more often than not.
A rebuilding team will often accept those flaws from a player. Not a team that’s truly in the playoff hunt and trying to turn the corner post-LeBron.
Love has a right to want more playing time. Nonetheless, he wasn’t — or isn’t — being realistic in terms of what he could bring and what the team needed.
It’s truly unfortunate.