CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love looked more comfortable this season than at any other point during his Cleveland tenure. With his importance validated after the Cavaliers’ championship last June and reaffirmed this postseason — especially in the Eastern Conference finals — it seemed like Love had finally quieted any remaining skeptics.
And yet, not even a week after the playoff run came to a disappointing end, a lopsided 4-1 series loss against the Golden State Warriors, Love’s name was again at the center of trade rumors.
Welcome to Love’s world. He’s been asked about it numerous times, his only recourse to shrug it off. It doesn’t even matter how well he performs anymore.
The latest round of chatter has gained steam because many are now asking the same questions the Cavs are faced with this off-season: How big is the gap with the Warriors? How can it be closed?
The first question is most important and will determine the off-season approach. Following Game 5 of the NBA Finals, a few minutes after shedding tears in the locker room and not being able to finish his postgame speech, head coach Tyronn Lue was pretty blunt when comparing the Cavs and Warriors.
“I don’t see a big gap,” Lue said.
If that’s the overarching view from the main decision makers (that remains a key question, too, given general manager David Griffin’s contract is set to expire at the end of June) then perhaps the Cavs feel keeping the core together and smoothing the…Read More