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The Cavaliers aren’t going to compete for a championship this season and the team’s best player isn’t suddenly going to get younger.
But power forward Kevin Love says he is happy right where he is, thank you very much.
“I do want to be here. I always have,” Love told Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com in an exclusive one-on-one interview. “I say that knowing it’s the NBA and it’s a business. I think especially after seeing last year, the summer leading up to last year and this summer, the changeover is like unprecedented so you don’t know what is going to happen.”
Love, 31, appeared in just 22 games last season, sidelined by surgery to his foot/toe. He developed a strong on-court bond with point guard Collin Sexton in that short amount of time, stood out when he did play, and figures to be the main part of new coach John Beilein’s offense moving forward.
Love signed a four-year contract extension reportedly worth $120 million prior to last season.
“If they decide to go completely young … and that could be the case, but it’s funny, my agent didn’t call me one time this summer to say, ‘Hey, you’re getting traded, there’s talks that this is happening,’” Love told Fedor. “Of course, somehow it’s still out there and people are talking about, ‘Oh, Kevin would be great here or great there.’ I just keep it moving and try to do right by these guys because we have a good group.”
Along with a new coach, the Cavs added three first-round picks to the roster, including No. 5 overall selection Darius Garland. All three are expected to play key roles. Sexton is entering his second season and likely starting small forward Cedi Osman his third.
So aside from Love, Tristan Thompson and several other older veterans, the Cavs are going through a youth movement and rebuild.
But based on Love’s conversation with Fedor, Love intends to stay and see it through.
“Look at how much youth we have on our squad now,” he told Fedor. “My time in Cleveland could eventually come. I know it’s been the talk every single year, but I’ve gotten — I’m not going to say comfortable because comfortable is the wrong word — but I feel comfortable here.
“I love where I live, I’ve embraced you guys, I’ve embraced the city and the fans, but at the end of the day, given a long-enough timeline, who you work for or somebody you work for will eventually change up and turn.”
Love averaged 17.9 points and 10.9 rebounds in his limited action last season. He has not appeared in more than 60 games since 2015-16, when the Cavs won the NBA championship.
Read the full story from Fedor here.