Cavaliers say they’re not trading, are re-designing offense to optimize Kevin Love
The Cavaliers have essentially gotten the worst-case version of Kevin Love.
That player is still darned good, a borderline All-Star. But Love was an All-NBA second-teamer who received MVP votes before Cleveland traded for him.
Love just never found a way to duplicate his Minnesota-era all-around contributions while playing with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. The power forward has often been relegated to spot-up shooting.
But what happens now, with Irving traded and Isaiah Thomas not ready to play, for Love and the Cavs?
We’ve heard this before. So, there should be some skepticism.
Love is 29, and after injuries, he doesn’t look as athletic as he did with the Timberwolves. Even if the Cavaliers feature him more, he can’t necessarily recreate what he did in Minnesota – especially because the rest of the league is better-equipped to deal with versatile and skilled big men.
But Irving’s departure changes the equation. Maybe, this time, Love will actually seize a bigger role. Using him at center could give him enough mismatches to flourish, though he’ll have his hands full on defense.
What happens when (if?) Thomas returns at full strength, though? As point guard, he’ll control the ball far more than Love.
If Love has re-blossomed into a near-superstar, Cleveland will gladly sort that out later.