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Kevin Love Would Be Open to Playing with Damian Lillard, Blazers: 'That's Special'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 3, 2021

David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers are likely headed toward a roster retooling this offseason, and Kevin Love sounds open to being part of his hometown franchise.

Love, who grew up just outside of Portland after being born in Los Angeles, said he would be open to playing with the Blazers at some point in his career.

“Who wouldn’t want to play with Dame Lillard, first of all? Dame, he's special. He's amazing. I claim Portland when people ask me where I'm from. I spent all my formative years, I grew up in Portland. ... Whether it be at the end of my career, whether it be in six months, if I was wearing a Portland jersey, that’s special. That’s playing at home," Love told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. 

Chris Haynes @ChrisBHaynes

Kevin Love on “Posted Up w/ C. Haynes Pod” reveals he’d love to play for hometown Trail Blazers.<br><br>“Who wouldn’t want to play with Dame Lillard?...If I was wearing a Portland jersey, that’s special. That’s playing at home.”<br><br>🎧: https://t.co/k3Sd5M4Bxu<br><br>🎥: https://t.co/EvFn1WFU4M pic.twitter.com/33513fXXOj

Love's future with the Cavs has been a source of never-ending speculation for more than a year given the team's rebuilding status and Love's penchant for outward displays of frustration. The five-time All-Star apologized last week after slapping a ball inbounds and turning it over in a moment of frustration during a game against the Toronto Raptors. 

"The reality of it is I f--ked up. Everybody knows that," Love told reporters. "I love this team first and foremost. I know I f--ked up, and I apologized for that. I don't go out there intending to upset anybody, to embarrass myself to embarrass the organization, because I feel like I'm a part of something bigger than myself here."

The Cavs chose to handle the matter internally, but this isn't the first time Love has shown displeasure in a destructive manner. Last January, Love reportedly had an "outburst" directed at general manager Kolby Altmann.  It was the second time Love had directed his ire toward Altmann.

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The Cavs have not made the playoffs since LeBron James left for the Lakers at the end of the 2017-18 season. 

While Portland could be considered a better situation, the odds are Love would have to agree to a buyout to make it happen. Cleveland owes Love $60.2 million over the next two seasons as part of a four-year, $120.4 million contract. It's possible Love and the Cavs reach a resolution similar to the one struck by Blake Griffin and the Detroit Pistons earlier this offseason, with Love giving back a significant chunk of money to find a better fit. 

However, Love has maintained he loves the city of Cleveland and wants to continue playing for the franchise. 

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