Cavs: Kevin Love commits to play for Team USA in Tokyo Olympics

Team USA big man Kevin Love celebrates after winning the gold medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. (Photo by Mark Ralston/Getty Images)
Team USA big man Kevin Love celebrates after winning the gold medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. (Photo by Mark Ralston/Getty Images) /

Cleveland Cavaliers big Kevin Love has had his share of play representing Team USA, of which has included him being a member of the 2012 team that won a gold medal in London.

Along with that, Love was a member of the 2010 U.S. Men’s squad that took home the gold medal in the FIBA World Championship in Turkey.

Looking forward from there, Love was previously named one of 57 finalists originally named as potential candidates for making the roster for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics back in February of 2020. Now, the Summer Olympics then were postponed to later this upcoming summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, of course, and it was uncertain as to whether Love would ultimately be chosen as a player on the official roster.

Along those lines though, Love would eventually be selected to compete with Team USA/make the final roster and displayed interest in doing so. That’s per Love’s agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Basketball, and as was relayed in a recent report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN on Tuesday.

Additionally, Joe Vardon of The Athletic (subscription required) reported that Team USA had interest in Love as well, as head coach Gregg Popovich, who has previously coached Love in international play, “was interested in bringing [Love] aboard.”

This figures to be a rewarding experience for the Cavs stretch big, but Love’s health needs to still be stressed here.

Love again has had represented Team USA previously in the 2012 Olympics and in the 2010 FIBA World Championship, as we noted, and I’d imagine he could help from a veteran standpoint from those experiences. Popovich, one would think, values that from Love.

In terms of the on-floor standpoint, I’m not sure how much Love will end up playing, realistically, but he has had his share of success previously with Team USA, clearly. The key here is that Love, when healthy, is still an elite defensive rebounder, a quality passing big and, when in a nice rhythm, can be one of the NBA’s best shooting bigs.

When Love was mostly healthy in 2019-20, he was solid for the most part with 17.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per outing. And perhaps most notably in this case, he hit a healthy 37.4 percent of his career-high 7.0 three-point attempts per contest for the Cavaliers.

During this now-past season for Cleveland though, Love, who has had his share of injury issues with the Cavs, was only active in 25 games and he missed most of the season primarily due to a right calf strain/complications with that.

Love did have some very productive outings still in 2020-21 when he was available, albeit according to Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman, Love probably still came back too soon initially from his injury, and that didn’t allow him to get in a consistent rhythm.

That was apparent on the floor, as while Love’s three-point shooting clip was a decent 36.5 percent, his shooting game-to-game and also in the mid-post was not there nearly as much as it was the season prior. He had just 12.2 points per game and played only 24.9 minutes per outing.

More from King James Gospel

As Altman has stated, it is still clear that Love can be a valuable piece for the Cavs, thanks to the spacing he helps provide for the likes of Darius Garland, Collin Sexton and others, but this offseason, he does need to work extensively on his game/get himself right.

Granted, hopefully the health perspective is stressed in his work for Team USA, given Love’s injury history/lack of availability last season. I’m sure Popovich/his staff are more than cognizant of that, anyway.

But in regards to the Cavs, in a general sense, if Love does perform well in Tokyo, as Vardon noted in his report, that could seemingly help as a boost for his potential trade value for Cleveland.

As Cavs fans know, the Love trade rumors will it’d appear always be in-play, on the subject; albeit at least currently, Love’s value, due to his contract still, age of 32 and his injury history hasn’t made a potential trade at all a simple move.

And for further context, Love/his camp and the Cavaliers have not reportedly any buyout talks yet, per Chris Fedor of, so I’d still expect him to be around at least for a chunk of next season, at the moment.

So, as a side note regarding the others that have committed to Team USA for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, the following that have reportedly done so thus far have been Damian Lillard, James Harden, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum, Khris Middleton, Bam Adebayo and Draymond Green.

There’s set to be two more open roster spots on the 12-man squad, and I’d assume those should be filled shortly.

Moreover, I’m sure this will be a very rewarding experience for Love, who was last on the Minnesota Timberwolves in those 2012 Olympics, on a Team USA squad that is seeking its fourth consecutive gold medal in the Olympics. Again, though, my fingers are crossed that he’s healthy throughout/following this.

Next. Cleveland Cavaliers: 15 best forwards in franchise history. dark

The upcoming Summer Olympics are set to run from July 23-August 8.