Cleveland Cavaliers: Is Kevin Love a long term fit with CLE?

Cleveland Cavaliers big Kevin Love shoots the ball. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers big Kevin Love shoots the ball. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /
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Dean Wade, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers bigs Kevin Love (left) and Dean Wade celebrate in-game. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /

Kevin Love is a five-time All-Star, two-time All-NBAer, former rebounding leader, former Most-Improved player, and most importantly, a former NBA champion with the Cleveland Cavaliers. So, in other words, Love may have already made his case for the Hall of Fame.

That’s quite the resume, and at just 32 years old, he still has time to add to it. Theoretically speaking, Love’s game could age well. He isn’t the same low-post presence that he once was in his younger years, but rather a stretch four at this point in his career. The biggest problem that the UCLA product must avoid though, is injury.

Of the 533 possible games, dating back to Love’s first season in Cleveland (2014-15) he has appeared in just 364 of them. That’s over two seasons worth of missed contests (169). A staggeringly high amount for any player.

One would think that would be a monumental factor in determining what his role should be within the Cavaliers organization moving forward. For a player who has yet to suit up for a full 82-game season, it may be the only consideration.

Though he has spent the last seven seasons with the Cavs, Love’s name has been a regular addition to the rumor mill.

There have been three certainties in life since K-Love joined the Cleveland-based franchise: death, taxes and Love trade rumors. It never fails, no matter how well he may play year in and year out, he always seems to find himself at the center of most trade speculation involving the Cavaliers.

With that said, there is validity in the line of thought that Love should remain with the team for the duration of the rebuild. Here’s why, beginning with the reason #1.

#1: He can help usher in a new era of Cavs basketball

Though Matthew Dellavedova arrived a year earlier, Love is technically the longest-tenured Cavs player. Our beloved “Delly” had a stint with the Milwaukee Bucks after the 2015-16 season. Why is this important? Because Love has been with the organization long enough to experience both ends of the proverbial spectrum and knows what it takes to win at the highest level.

He was by no means the focal point of any of the teams’ four straight trips to the NBA Finals from the 2014-15 season through the 2017-18 season, but he was a huge reason why the franchise was able to walk away with their first title during that time span.

While he wasn’t the first, or even second option most of the time, he could be relied upon to contribute at a high level on a nightly basis provided he was healthy.

The Cavaliers are still in the early stages of a rebuild but they are beginning to develop a core centered around guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, who are establishing themselves as a dynamic duo, as KJG’s John Suchan detailed.

With so many players who need time to develop at the forward and center positions, Love’s mere presence both on the court and in the locker room should help tremendously in terms of mentorship and leadership.

Dean Wade, Jarrett Allen, Lamar Stevens, Isaiah Hartenstein and perhaps Taurean Prince (whose season is reportedly done, though) all figure to be in Cleveland’s plans moving forward and as a player who has been there and done that, Love has a wealth of knowledge to share with the blossoming youth.