Kevin Love is still one of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ best players.
The Cavaliers sent Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, two prior first overall picks, for Love, as pieces in part of a three-team deal to the Minnesota Timberwolves and in a deal that also included the Philadelphia 76ers at the time. A protected 2015 first-rounder was included by Cleveland, too.
At the time Love was a star, and was fresh off likely the best season of his career. It’s easy to forget that Kyrie Irving still had not really fully gained the spotlight yet and Love was viewed as the Robin to LeBron James originally.
The narratives changed quickly. Fast forward to 2020. With Tristan Thompson and Matthew Dellavedova set to be unrestricted free agents this offseason, Love is the last piece from that roster he had originally been dealt to.
Cleveland extended him in the summer of 2018 after LeBron’s departure, giving him a four-year, roughly $120.4 million deal, that would last through 2022-23. Most likely knowing regardless of his previous performances they weren’t going to get another Love anytime soon. Part of them also had to believe there was a chance he could return to his Minnesota form with him going back to being the primary option.
That has not happened yet, though, and that form isn’t likely to nearly come for him again. In the two seasons since Love has struggled to find a rhythm with what’s been moved to a rebuilding situation, ultimately four different head coaches and a bad bout with injuries.
Love was only active in 22 games in 2018-19, mostly due to toe surgery, while he missed nine games, but was mostly healthy in 2019-20, but has admittedly had his injury issues with Cleveland. Overall, in the past two seasons, he’s put up 17.4 points and 10.1 rebounds per outing.
So looking at next season, though, with hopes of returning to better form, hopefully we’ll see Love ready to roll in 2020-21.
Here, we’ll highlight two realistic expectations for Love next season for the Cavs.
We’ll begin with #1.