LOVE SAFE? The Cleveland Cavaliers are still fairly early in what has amounted to a complete rebuild. And yet, they’re paying Kevin Love a whole lot of money to play for them, something that has made the five-time All-Star an appealing trade target around the Association. With good reason, too, as Love, who missed most of last season with injury, is back to performing at a very high level. On the year, the big man is averaging 19.2 points, 15.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game, slashing nasty 49.3/41.5/86.7 shooting splits in the process for the 2-4 Cavaliers.
So will Love be moved at some point this year? Apparently not, according to Cavs general manager Koby Altman. At a press conference following his contract extension announcement, the Cleveland exec told collected media there is no interest on the Cavaliers’ end in trading Love “at all”.
Of course, executives say those types of things all the time and their words often end up not meaning much. Love, who is the 22nd-highest paid player in the league this season and projects to be the 20th-highest paid player in 2020-21, will have his fair share of suitors come the trade deadline; seeing him get moved wouldn’t be surprising whatsoever. A team like the Blazers, for example, have previously been rumored as a potential Love trade destination and sorely need help in their frontcourt if they want to make a legit playoff push in a year that is considered pretty wide open in the Western Conference.
🗣️ That’s all to say: Don’t take Altman’s word on this topic as gospel. There will be too much interest in Love over the upcoming months for a move to be completely ruled out.
AD TALKS FREE AGENCY: Lakers big man Anthony Davis hits free agency next summer, and although just about everyone has penciled him into re-signing with Los Angeles without much drama, he made some interesting comments on Monday night. At an event with the boys and girls basketball teams of his alma mater in his hometown of Chicago, Davis said there’s nothing like playing at home and that there’s at least a possibility he could choose to play for the Bulls.
😳 Don’t get too excited, though, Bulls fans, as Chicago projects to have under $10 million in cap space next summer, nowhere near enough to acquire Davis and the max salary he will demand.
BUTLER SPEAKS OUT: Two-time All-NBAer Jimmy Butler opened up about the last few months of his career, his move to Miami and his exit from Philadelphia. Butler, a bit ominously, told Yahoo Sports, “Stuff just don’t work out. Nobody knows what really went on in Philly and we’re going to leave it that way.”
IT TAKES NEXT STEP: Isaiah Thomas started his first game since the 2017-18 season last night, scoring nine points on 4-of-12 shooting in 24 minutes for the Washington Wizards. It’s great to see the former explosive scorer start to slowly resemble his old self again.
FINAL UNBEATEN FALLS: The NBA’s final unbeaten team, the Philadelphia 76ers, dropped their first game of the season last night, falling to the plucky Suns 114-109. Philadelphia is now 5-1, but get Joel Embiid back from suspension for their next game against the Utah Jazz. Phoenix, meanwhile, is now 5-2 on the year, a shocking start for a team that not many had high expectations for.
INGRAM CONTINUES TO BALL: Pelicans swingman Brandon Ingram, who is enjoying by far the best season of his career in 2019-20, had another huge game on Monday night, dropping a career-high 40 points on 17-of-24 shooting against the Brooklyn Nets. Thus far, it looks like New Orleans made out pretty well in the Anthony Davis trade.
ROOKIE SUSPENDED: The NBA announced on Monday Cavaliers rookie Kevin Porter Jr. will be suspended for one game for improper contact with a referee. Watch video of the incident and decide for yourself whether the suspension is fair or not.
PODCAST WITH NBA VET: Alex Kennedy is joined by eight-year NBA vet Trevor Booker to discuss early-season observations, Booker’s recent workouts for teams and much more.
LEBRON’S PHILANTHROPY: LeBron James continues to do amazing things with his vast wealth, now committing to extend his I Promise School project to include transitional housing for at-risk students. Incredible.
SUMMER RESURGENCE: His numbers this season, 3.2 points and 1.8 assists per game, may not indicate it, but Frank Ntilikina experienced a revitalization this past summer at the World Cup with the French National Team.
LONZO GOES DOWN: Lonzo Ball exited Monday night’s game against the Nets due to cramps and did not return. For such an injury-prone player, this will be something to watch over the next few days.
TRADE RUMOR RANKINGS
These are the players with the most mentions in our trade rumors page the last seven days:
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