Kevin Love Had 'Some Feeling' 2017-18 Was Final Year of Cavaliers' Run

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 9, 2020

Cleveland Cavaliers' Kevin Love drives against the Miami Heat in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

The end of the Cleveland Cavaliers' run in the Eastern Conference after the 2017-18 season didn't come as a surprise to Kevin Love

Appearing on the Ledlow & Parker podcast, Love said he had "some feeling" that could be the final season for that squad in part because of how much roster turnover they had throughout the year. 

Cleveland's roster turnover began in August 2017 when Kyrie Irving was traded to the Boston Celtics. That deal brought Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, as well as a 2018 first-round pick. 

The following month, Dwyane Wade signed with the Cavs as a free agent. 

At the trade deadline in February, the Cavs made a series of moves that included Wade being dealt to the Miami Heat; Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and a protected first-round pick went to the Los Angeles Lakers for Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson; George Hill and Rodney Hood were acquired in a three-team trade with the Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz

A total of 21 players appeared in at least 14 games for Cleveland during the 2017-18 season. By comparison, a total of 16 players appeared in at least 15 games in each of the previous three seasons. 

Those moves did help Cleveland advance to the NBA Finals for the fourth straight year, but the team was swept by the Golden State Warriors

There were also rumors throughout the year that LeBron James was considering leaving as a free agent. 

Jason Lloyd of The Athletic reported in November 2018 that the team first started to believe "a few months" after winning the 2016 NBA Finals that James would sign with the Los Angeles Lakers when his contract expired. 

James ultimately joined the Lakers in July 2018, bringing an end to his second run with the Cavs. The franchise has spent the past two years trying to rebuild, compiling a 38-109 record since the start of last season.