When Kevin Love signed a five-year max extension in Cleveland two and a half years ago, it raised some eyebrows. The Cavs were pretty clearly moving into a rebuild after the departures of Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, and the soon-to-be young Cavs weren’t going to fit Love’s timeline to compete for another title.
Many anticipated Love would get traded, at some point, but a combination of injuries and somewhat lackluster play has kept him from creating any kind of trade market over the last few years. As a result, he has been in and out of the lineup with various ailments, and when he plays, his frustration with the situation and losing has occasionally boiled over to some unseemly actions on the floor. On Tuesday, Love felt he got pushed in the back on a play against Toronto and angrily slapped at the ball when the referee tossed it to him on the baseline to inbound it, resulting in one of the strangest plays you’ll see, as the Raptors happily scooped up the loose ball slowly bouncing into the corner and got three points out of it.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) April 27, 2021
While the intention of Love was surely not to swat the ball inbounds and his ire was directed at the officials, it’s still a bad look and the veteran forward didn’t play the fourth quarter or speak to the media after the game. He did, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, apologize to the team afterwards and while a fine may be on the table, the Cavs will handle the situation internally.
Cleveland Cavaliers are addressing the Kevin Love matter internally but the team is focused on turning the page with the forward having apologized last night, league sources tell @YahooSports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) April 27, 2021
As Cleveland continues to move forward with their young core, one that now seems to firmly be Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Isaac Okoro, and Jarrett Allen, a decision may need to come sooner than later on Love. He has two years at just over $60 million remaining after this season, and finding a trade partner will be difficult. While this instance wasn’t an issue of Love expressing frustration at his young teammates, we have seen that happen in the past, and it might be best for all parties to part ways and move on from what was once a fruitful partnership.