Kevin Love would be a “fitting” signing for the Dallas Mavericks if the franchise was somehow able to land LeBron James this offseason — this, at least, according to The Smoking Cuban’s Josh Cornelissen.
“If LeBron James and Kyrie Irving are going to reunite in Dallas, it’s only fitting that Kevin Love join them too,” Cornelissen wrote. “Is there a place for Love to rejoin his former co-stars in Dallas? Almost certainly. Especially if they can stay under the second tax apron and offer him the full Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception.”
While he didn’t have the biggest role in that year’s NBA Finals, Love was a major component of the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers playoff run that ended with a series comeback against the Golden State Warriors — a team that had just broken the NBA’s all-time regular season wins record, no less — to bring the Cavs the first title in franchise history.
Love is showing that he still has plenty left in the tank during the 2023 NBA Finals for the Miami Heat, averaging eight points and five rebounds with a 43.8% conversion rate from beyond the arc against the Denver Nuggets.
Kevin Love Has Brought ‘Joy’ to Miami Heat During Playoff Run
If it weren’t for Love, the Heat may not have made a Cinderella run through the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Max Strus said that Love has brought Miami much-needed “joy” since signing with the Heat following a buyout from the Cavaliers.
“He brought some joy to it,” Heat wing Max Strus said ahead of Game 3 (h/t Miami Herald). “He brings a positive attitude and he’s got a great sense of humor and just knows the right time to liven it up a little bit. We kind of needed that. We needed somebody to come in that was a veteran like that, that’s been here, that knows the right moments to keep it light and keep us at ease. He’s just done a great job of that, just being a great veteran to everybody.”
Love said he’s “unapologetically” being himself.
“I think just being myself, unapologetically,” Love said. “I’m very grateful for them that they accepted me throughout the entire organization, just being myself, on the floor, off the floor. I think that helped me get acclimated. But also people that I’ve been around — I like to keep it light. I like to get to know my teammates on and off the floor personally but also professionally, see how I can best help them, uplift them and get the best out of them.”
Cavaliers Letting Kevin Love Go Was a ‘Mistake,’ Says Analyst
According to King James Gospel’s Tony Camino, the Cavaliers letting Love go mid-season was a mistake, but only because the players who got those minutes instead didn’t rise to the occasion in Cleveland.
“All in all, the Cavs at their best did not have a consistent role for Kevin Love to get minutes,” Camino wrote. “He would’ve only seen big minutes versus the Knicks once the series was swaying in the Knicks’ favor and we desperately tried to add shooting. I doubt Love was okay with being out of the rotation, and the organization and city owed it to him to let him go somewhere he can contribute. The decision ended up being a mistake, but only because Cleveland’s players did not perform nearly up to the level that they are capable of.”
The Cavaliers were unceremoniously bounced from the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in five games by the New York Knicks. Since James left the franchise in 2018 free agency, that was Cleveland’s best finish.