The Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t offering Kevin Love in any trade offers and intend to have him on the roster next season regardless of any decision LeBron James may make, ESPN reported Wednesday.
Love has two seasons remaining on his deal with the Cavaliers and is owed just more than $49.7 million. The second year is a player option. Speculation has been rampant that Cleveland would look to deal Love if James leaves as a free agent.
Retaining Love, who turns in 30 in September, would leave the franchise with at least a short-term standout to reload around. Love averaged 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds in 59 regular-season games last season.
Love has career averages of 18.3 points and 11.3 rebounds over 10 seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cavaliers. He twice averaged 26 or more points during his six seasons in Minnesota.
—The Los Angeles Lakers recently held a meeting warning all employees about possible tampering ahead of the opening of NBA free agency on July 1, according to an ESPN report.
Per the report, co-owner and governor Jeanie Buss called the meeting, and president of basketball operations Magic Johnson led it. Some employees also received written notice that termination could be possible for anyone who might violate NBA rules.
The Lakers were fined $500,000 last August after general manager Rob Pelinka made a prohibited form of contact with the agent of Paul George while the forward was with the Indiana Pacers. That came after the team had been warned following Johnson’s public comments about George. L.A. was also fined $50,000 in February for Johnson’s public comments praising the play of Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.
—NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he understands why some fans are upset about the Golden State Warriors’ assembly of a superteam with Kevin Durant, but he also gave the team praise for earning the success it has achieved.
Speaking on ESPN’s “Golic and Wingo,” Silver was asked about the state of the league and the assertion by many that it lacks parity, as reflected by the Warriors’ dominance and the same NBA Finals matchup happening four years in a row.
Silver said the league won’t try to break up superteams in order to “force some sort of parity that is kind of unnatural,” but he did suggest changes could be explored when the collective bargaining agreement expires — either after 2023-2024, or a year earlier if either side opts out — including the possibility of a harder salary cap.
—The forecasts seemingly all project Deandre Ayton to develop into an NBA star, but the 7-foot-1 center who could go No. 1 overall in Thursday’s draft said he defines NBA success as not having his rookie contract be his last.
Ayton averaged 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds and blocked 66 shots in his one college campaign. He was born in the Bahamas and said the opportunity to be a role model is a big deal for him.
“Having that chip on your shoulder and carrying a nation behind me,” Ayton told reporters during a media availability session in New York. “It’s a huge opportunity to show that Bahamian people, we’re not just a country of just track and field athletes.”
—Field Level Media