Kevin Love moving to the Cavs’ second option should preserve him

Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love reacts in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love reacts in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Kevin Love shifting to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ second offensive option next season should preserve him.

To me, with what Collin Sexton‘s shown throughout the 2019-20 season for the Cleveland Cavaliers, he should be the club’s primary offensive option in 2020-21.

I’d expect Kevin Porter Jr.’s role to expand with him playing more minutes than 23.2 per game next season, and his potential is still so high and down the road, he could be an All-Star.

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Sexton, who has led the Cavs in scoring with 20.8 points per game in 2019-20, should be option number one for Cleveland’s offense next year, though.

With him improving as a finisher in the paint, to go with feasting on mid-range pull-ups, and hitting 38.0 percent of his three-point attempts, and with him constantly putting immense pressure on opposing defenses as a scorer, he should be Cleveland’s first option next season.

This season to this point, Kevin Love has still been the Cavs’ primary option, even with him not leading them in scoring.

Love is still Cleveland’s best shooter off-the-catch, and is the Cavs’ best inside-out scoring threat, and has again proven to be a highly capable secondary playmaker, as evidenced by his 3.2 assists per game.

Next season, though, Love should be the Cleveland Cavaliers’ second option, which would preserve his health and work out better for the Wine and Gold.

I’ve been a fan of how the Cavs have sat Love for seemingly mostly rest purposes on back-to-backs in 2019-20, and I’d expect that to be their approach next season. Love has had injury struggles at times in his tenure with the Cavaliers, as evidenced by him only appearing in 22 games in 2018-19, mostly due to toe surgery.

To Love’s credit this season, which is reportedly increasingly likely over for bottom-feeding Cleveland due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, though, Love’s appeared in 56 games.

Out of 65 games played for the Cavs, getting that number out of Love, with mostly precaution mixed in, though Achilles soreness played into it a bit, has been nice to see. Looking forward, I again believe that Love shifting to being Cleveland’s second option should further preserve him, too.

This season, while Love has clearly had his ups and downs when it comes to the team dynamic by displaying his frustration, though he seemed much better as the year progressed and apologized, Love has been very solid on the floor. With J.B. Bickerstaff as Cleveland’s head coach, Love shouldn’t have issues/outbursts on the floor, either.

In 2019-20, Love has had 17.6 points per game, and has somewhat silently had a near-career-best 55.0 percent effective field goal shooting clip. Love has hit a healthy 37.4 percent of his career-high 7.0 three-point attempts per game as well, and has proven to still be a really effective as a low and mid-post threat, too.

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While it does appear less likely than previously that the Cavs would look to deal Love near the 2021 trade deadline as opposed to potentially next offseason after that loaded free agency period, as Forbes‘ Evan Dammarell essentially alluded to, Love’s health should still be a huge priority going forward.

For the Cavaliers to preserve him next season/looking onward, the best way to ensure that’s the case is to have less of a workload/on-ball focus for Love, and to feasibly use him as a decoy more.

I still see Love as being a driving force for the Cavs, with his passing feel and scoring polish at all three levels, but his presence should help Darius Garland more next year, along with continuing to for Sexton, Cedi Osman, Larry Nance Jr. and seemingly KPJ.

Plus, with Andre Drummond reportedly likely opting into his $28.8 million player option for next season, that’d feasibly ease the offensive burden for Love a bit.

In addition, hopefully with Dylan Windler, who has not played with Cleveland yet due to complications involving a stress reaction in his left leg, I’d see Love’s presence being able to free him up more in minutes together on the floor. Those two could prove to be quality screeners for each other on and off-ball throughout games, also.

Better pull-up three-pointer efficiency is crucial for Darius Garland. dark. Next

Anyhow, in terms of the outlook from this point onward, at least for next season, I’d expect Love to be Cleveland’s second option with the uber-durable Sexton operating in a more primary/go-to role. That’d help preserve Love’s health.