John Beilein not worried about Kevin Love trade reports

Love wants to be traded to a contender

James Rapien
December 11, 2019 - 6:08 pm
Nov 20, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) reacts against the Miami Heat during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

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CLEVELAND, OH — Cavaliers star Kevin Love would like to be traded according to multiple reports, but the rumors haven't been a distraction according to head coach John Beilein.

“I don’t think it’s distracted anything right now,” Beilein said before Wednesday’s game against Houston. “I’ve been hearing that since the time I was hired. We want Kevin to go out there and play his best every single day for the Cleveland Cavaliers.”

The Cavs have lost seven straight and 13 of their last 14 games. Love has struggled recently, averaging just nine points and 6.8 rebounds in his last six games. He’s also missed two games due to a sore back and one because he was sick.

Love, 31, would like to play for a contender, which is understandable at this stage of his career. His recent struggles and his lengthy injury history could prevent the Cavaliers from getting much in return for the 5-time All-Star.

“Whatever happens in this basketball business happens, but we want Kevin to play his best and I’m sure he does as well,” Beilein said. “We hope that happens today and everyday going forward.”

General manager Koby Altman doesn’t want to take pennies on the dollar for Love. He wants substantial assets in return for his star forward. It’ll be much easier for the Cavs to deal him if Love can stay healthy and play at a high level like he was during the first 12 games of the season. He averaged 18.2 points, 12.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists per contest over that span.  

A report from The Athletic was released last week that says Cavaliers players are tuning out Beilein. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to put the pieces together and see that Love could be one of the players that has soured on the first-year head coach. Beilein hasn’t gone out of his way to talk with Love about his future in Cleveland.

“We have talked just around the edges of that right now,” Beilein said. “If those type of things come out, the best thing right now for Kevin is to play the best he can every minute. I know he’s going to try to do that every time he’s out there that’s the hope. I haven’t spent a lot of time with him on that no.”

Altman and Beilein know Love needs to play at a high level if a playoff contender is going to make a substantial offer for him.

Portland, Boston, Miami, Phoenix, Dallas, Denver and Atlanta have all expressed some level of interest in Love.

NBA players that signed free-agent contracts in the offseason can be traded on Dec. 15. The deadline is 3 p.m. ET on Feb. 7.