The Kevin Love situation in Cleveland is getting messier by the day. As trade rumors fly but nothing seems to stick, Love is stuck on a team with no use for him with a contract that nobody wants on their books. He's frustrated. He reportedly . He showed up second-year guard Collin Sexton in the middle of a game. He tweeted a picture of "The Joker" to illustrate his, shall we say, not-great mood after Cleveland lost in Toronto.
On Tuesday, Love expressed regret about his recent behavior in an extended, extremely open session with the media. He called his actions "childish" and said he was "acting like a 13-year-old." He offered the company line that he "let [his] emotions get the best of him" while downplaying the supposed altercation he had with Altman. You can watch Love's interview session below.
Good for Love. Nobody's perfect. Everyone gets frustrated, certainly athletes in highly tense predicaments amid a swirling sea of trade rumors and losses. He owned it. Didn't make excuses. All good.
The greater situation at the heart of these actions, however, is not all good. Speaking on "The Hoop Collective" podcast, ESPN reporter described the Love situation in Cleveland as "a bit of a mess, to say the least." From Windhorst:
"[Love] absolutely, totally wants to get out of there. It's driven him various levels of crazy to be there this season. But there's not that much traction in the trade [market] as far as I can tell.
"The Cavs are viewing it like [they're] trading an All-Star level player," Windhorst explained. [But] the other teams are saying, 'yeah he's a good player, but we're taking on this money. They think they're bailing the Cavs out."
In other words, there's still a gap between what the Cavs want for Love and what other teams are willing to give up. This has been the case from the start. Love is a 31-year-old player who is still really good but no longer a star. He has a significant injury history. And he's in the first year of a four-year, $120 million contract, meaning whichever team potentially trades for him is adding some $91 million to their books over the three seasons following this one.
In the middle of that stretch is the summer of 2021, when a loaded free-agent class led by Giannis Antetokounmpo is set to hit the market. Teams are pinching their pennies between now and then. Love can help a lot of teams. That's not the issue. The contract is the problem, and at the end of the day, Love signed it. He wanted the money. The situation he's in now was always a potential part of the deal.