It feels like an annual tradition for Kevin Love to be connected to trade rumors with the Portland Trail Blazers, having grown up in the area and being the kind of player, at least in his prime, the Blazers have long been looking for to complement Damian Lillard. That the Blazers have a Cleveland native in CJ McCollum who makes the money work has only further fueled hometown reunion dreams on the trade machine for years, but nothing of substance has ever really come of it.
Still, that hasn’t stopped the rumors and it also hasn’t stopped Love from thinking of what it would be like to play back at home. On Monday, Chris Haynes had a new episode of his Posted Up podcast with Kevin Love as his guest in the midst of the latest controversy surrounding him and his frustrations in Cleveland after he slapped a ball inbounds and refused to take shots the next game. In the interview, Love was asked about possibly going back to Portland and rather than deflecting, he didn’t shy away from talking about how much he’d enjoy going home and playing with Damian Lillard.
Kevin Love on “Posted Up w/ C. Haynes Pod” reveals he’d love to play for hometown Trail Blazers.
“Who wouldn’t want to play with Dame Lillard?…If I was wearing a Portland jersey, that’s special. That’s playing at home.”
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 3, 2021
There’s a lot of guys that feel this way — both about playing with Dame and playing in their hometown — but rarely do they talk about it publicly. However, it seems Love isn’t interested in being demure in Cleveland anymore and in a time where Cavs fans already aren’t pleased with the behavior of the longtime star forward, this will only throw gasoline on the fire. It doesn’t really mean anything — trading for Love is almost impossible for Portland right now because giving up McCollum for this version of Love would be an awful trade — and we’ll never know what his intent here really is, but plenty will read it as Love campaigning to get out of Cleveland and if the relationship between he and the fanbase weren’t already strained enough, this will further that divide.