Cavs Big Man Evan Mobley Issues Strong Message on Kevin Love

Evan Mobley

Getty Images Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cleveland Cavaliers parted ways with Kevin Love and second-year big man Evan Mobley knows the team will miss his presence in the locker room.

Love and the Cavs agreed to a buyout over the weekend and he later agreed to a deal to join the Miami Heat. While Love had fallen out of the rotation in Cleveland but his contributions went beyond the box score.

“It definitely hits you emotionally,” Mobley told Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “All the guys are going to miss him for sure, and I just hope he does great wherever he goes.”

Love left Cleveland after nine seasons, which included some very prominent highs and lows. He was a key part of the Cavs’ NBA Finals runs alongside LeBron James, winning the 2016 title. But he also stuck around through some tough rebuilding years following James’ departure, with the team going just 60-159 from 2018 to 2021.

Mobley acknowledged that Love was very well liked in the locker room as the elderstatesman and his leadership will be missed as the Cavs look to keep things rolling after the All-Star break.

“He’s been great, a great leader,” Mobley said. “He’s always been a character in the locker room as well. All the guys on the team love him. … His lightheartedness in the locker room definitely helps everybody and glues everybody together.”

Love Had Emotional Message After Buyout

It wasn’t easy for Love to leave the Cavs after a nearly a decade with the squad but he’ll now likely get a chance to contribute in the Heat’s rotation.

“I’ll have more to say soon but want to get this off my chest,” Love tweeted on February 18. “To the people of Cleveland and all of Ohio. I f***ing LOVE you…and always will. Thank you for everything.”

Cavaliers president of basketball operations Koby Altman also issued an extended message on Love’s departure, thanking him for his contributions.

“Kevin Love had an outstanding run with the Cavaliers, including memorable on-court moments, four NBA Finals appearances and an NBA Championship in 2016,” Altman said. “Kevin represented the organization and the city of Cleveland with the utmost charm and professionalism during his nine seasons in Northeast Ohio.

“He also embodied everything a franchise would want in a player, and the admiration and gratitude we have for him will ultimately land his jersey in the rafters of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. We thank Kevin for his impact and wish him nothing but the best, knowing that he has solidified his place in the hearts of Cavaliers fans and this organization forever.”

Love is averaging career lows in scoring (8.5 points per game) and rebounds (6.8 per game).

Cavs in Good Spot at All-Star Break

While the locker room will feel a bit different without Love in the locker room, things are trending up for the Cavs. Prior to a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers before the break, Cleveland had won seven in a row and are currently the No. 4 seed in the East.

“I feel really good about the team,” coach JB Bickerstaff said before the All-Star break. “I think we have a high-level understanding of who we are. I think we recognize where our strengths are and how we play to those strengths. I think we found great balance in our team, especially on the offensive end of the floor. Our defense has been phenomenal to say the least. And guys have an understanding of what exactly we’re trying to do.”

The Cavs are young and lack playoff experience. However, their own buyout acquisition of Danny Green should help their cause in that area. Green is a three-time NBA champion and has played in 165 postseason games.