He will surely be elsewhere in short order, but Kevin Love has professed his desire to play for the Portland Trail Blazers.
As the Cleveland Cavaliers moved away from their title-contending teams in the second LeBron James era, Kevin Love has not been a fit. An expensive veteran has to be a leader on a young team, and Love has never seemed interested in being that. The most recent evidence is being his display of frustration on an inbounds play last Monday night.
Love has missed most of this season with a calf injury, playing in just 21 games as the calendar has now crossed into May. He hasn’t been totally unproductive, averaging 11.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, but he also hasn’t been that helpful to winning and he has no future in Cleveland. Last Friday against the Wizards, he had zero shot attempts in 22 minutes.
On this week’s episode of “Posted Up With Chris Haynes”, with Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, Love named a team he’d like to play for.
Kevin Love would love to play in Portland
"Who wouldn’t want to play with Dame Lillard, first of all,” ” “Dame, he’s special. He’s amazing. I claim Portland when they ask me where I’m from. It’s where I spent all of my formative years. I grew up in Portland. When people ask where I was born, obviously I say L.A. But Portland is always going to be a special place in my heart. Whether it be at the end of my career, whether it be in six months, or whatever it may be, if I was wearing a Portland jersey, that’s special. That’s playing at home.”"
Love grew up in Portland and graduated high school in Oregon, so the Trail Blazers are his hometown NBA team and a team that generally surfaces when trade rumors come up around him.
After this year, Love has two years and roughly $60 million left on the four-year, $120 million he signed with the Cavaliers in 2018. Salaries of $31.3 and $28.9 million will be a challenge to match in a trade, but if the Trail Blazers are interested they might be able to pull it off.
Love didn’t say it in that many words to Haynes, but it’s clear he wants out of Cleveland. Based on his behavior, for all to see or apparently behind the scenes, the Cavaliers’ organization and fan base surely share the feeling.