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Kevin Love Rumors: Cavaliers Have Discussed Using Star as Backup Center

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIAugust 23, 2021

AP Photo/Tony Dejak

The Cleveland Cavaliers have had discussions about using Kevin Love as a backup center, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com:

"The Cavs owe Kevin Love $60 million over the next two years—and there’s no easy way out of that situation. There’s been conversation about limiting his role and minutes to maximize effectiveness. The organization has also discussed the possibility of using Love as the backup center -- a la Blake Griffin in Brooklyn—to boost shooting and spacing while allowing rookie Evan Mobley and Nance to gobble up most of the minutes at 4.
"Either way, Love is still on the roster. He will have a role."

Love averaged 12.2 points and 7.4 rebounds in 24.9 minutes per game last year as a right calf strain suffered during the preseason lingered through the campaign and held him to just 25 games. His point-per-game total was his lowest mark since his 2008-09 rookie year, and he had never amassed fewer rebounds per game.

When healthy, Love is a double-double machine, averaging 17.6 points and 9.8 rebounds the year before.

The issue is that Love is an outlier on a young and rebuilding Cavs team. He was a key piece of the Cavs' dominant mid-2010s teams with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, winning four Eastern Conference titles and one NBA championship. That team has since broken up, but Love stuck around.

Now, Cleveland is looking into a new era featuring young players such as rookie big man Evan Mobley and the backcourt of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. The Cavs re-signed center Jarrett Allen to a five-year, $100 million deal, and he'll be locking down the starting 5 spot.

A frontcourt featuring Mobley and Allen with Love coming off the bench may be best for everyone involved. Love would provide excellent depth behind the pair and could stay fresher as he plays through his 14th NBA season following an injury-marred 13th campaign.

Cleveland opens the regular season Oct. 20 against the Memphis Grizzlies.

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