Kevin Love proved he was valuable to the Cavaliers after their NBA title, but that didn’t stop rampant speculation that Cleveland was looking to trade him this offseason. Even though the Cavs won it all, they’re still staring down one of the biggest salaries in NBA history and the nagging feeling that they still aren’t put together quite right. But head coach Tyronn Lue did his best to stomp out that speculation on Mike & Mike:
“Oh he’s going to be here. I mean, without Kevin Love, we wouldn’t have gotten to the Finals. You know, he had a great series against Detroit, a great series against Atlanta, a great series against Toronto. You know, with the way Golden State plays, and the positions they put you in, it was just a tough series. It’s the same with Channing Frye. He did a great job of getting us to that point, but it’s a tough series for him to play in because they play small, and it was tough for us matchup-wise.
“But Kevin Love was great for us all season long. Kyrie missed 30 games this season, and Kevin and LeBron carried this team the first 30 games of the season. Then throughout the playoffs, those first three rounds, he was big. Then in Game 7, after hearing all the negative talk, he comes into Game 7, has 14 rebounds, a big stop on Steph Curry at the end of the game. So Kevin Love is going to be here, we want him here, and he’s a big part of what we want to do going forward.”
That’s put in no uncertain terms, but Lue doesn’t have the pull of more established coaches when it comes to personnel. If GM David Griffin gets blown away by a trade offer, as unlikely as it sounds, he’s going to pick up the phone. Then again, it would be quite something for Lue to talk out of school if he had any inclination a deal might be coming. Love was a key member of a championship team, and now it seems he’ll be a key member of their title defense.