Cleveland Cavaliers still view Kevin Love as valuable piece amid slow rebuild

After all the drama and disappointment of the past decade, is Cleveland Cavaliers’ star Kevin Love still the team’s best chance at a title? That depends on whether or not you think LeBron James is the key to winning a championship, and if you do, you might be surprised to hear that the Cavs see Love as the lynchpin.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have shown little patience with their slow rebuilding process and are seemingly intent on adding talented players to the team as quickly as possible. One of the most important pieces of the Cavaliers puzzle is power forward Kevin Love. Cleveland Cavaliers getting healthy  | Cavs Life

Trades are not always cost effective for a team. Kevin Love was traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Minnesota Timberwolves last year, but this time around, the team is not exactly looking to trade the power forward. The Cavaliers, however, are not willing to part with Love as easily this time around.. Read more about kevin love and let us know what you think.

CLEVELAND – As the Cavaliers continue their slow rebuild around their core of four young players, the team still sees Kevin Love as a key component.

One that sticks. At least for now.

General manager Kobe Altman addressed the media for the first time Friday after the Cavs ended an injury-plagued season with a 22-50 defeat and failed to compete for a playoff spot in a year in which Love turned from a top passer to a distraction.

Due to a serious calf injury, the five-time All-Star only played in 25 games. The only thing people will remember from his forgettable season is a missed shot on the court against Toronto, when he lost his composure and threw the ball aside in frustration, only for the Raptors to grab the ball and score.

It’s an unfortunate moment that tarnishes an otherwise clean resume.

Love’s mini-hysteria was also a microcosm of a disappointing season for the Cavs, who used 30 different starting lineups and lost 300 games to injuries. There was also plenty of self-inflicted drama, including Love’s slump at Florida, the surprise trade of Kevin Porter Jr. to Houston and the team’s buyout of All-Star center Andre Drummond’s contract.

Altman said Love received an internal reprimand in April for his behavior on the field. But his actions have seriously damaged Love’s reputation with fans and likely his relationship with his teammates and coaches.

Love publicly apologized for his outburst, saying it was out of character. And while it may have been harder for fans to accept Love’s contrition – and deal with his $30 million-a-season contract – Altman insists it didn’t cause a rift within the Cavaliers.

What people don’t see is his vulnerability to players and teammates. I don’t think people see his generosity, said Altman, who last spoke to reporters in January. If he was an absolute badass and the games you’re talking about represented him, his teammates wouldn’t like him, his teammates wouldn’t want to be with him.

According to Altman, Love brings a much-needed mentor for young players to the Cavs, who at one point had four players under the age of 22 on their roster. He may have some quirks, but Love’s value goes far beyond his shooting and rebounding abilities.

Jarrett Allen likes Kevin and I asked him why and he said: Off the field, he has leadership qualities. There is a sense of humility. He’s funny, Altman says. And he’s been here a long time; he won a championship with us, so he has a lot of credibility here. I like talking to him, I like being with him. He has his moments, but he’s with us and he’s a unique Kevin Love.

Altman said Love has a big summer ahead of it. He needs to be physically fitter and mentally stronger to deal with what lies ahead.

Although the Cavs have played few big games this season, Altman thinks the team is on the verge of a breakthrough thanks to defensemen Darius Garland and Collin Sexton, forward Isaac Okoro and Allen, whose arrival forced the team to part ways with Drummond.

The Cavs will add another talented player from a high top position and also plan to sign free veterans this summer.

But young people need someone to show them the way, and Altman thinks this role is perfect for Love.

We want him there, Atlman said. For that reason we gave him an extension (four years, $120 million in 2019), to have him here if we want to take the next step. And so we hope that next year, after a great summer, we can build on that strongly.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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