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Cavs Rumors: Kevin Love Could Miss Rest of 2018-19 Season
- Updated: November 4, 2018
Last week, it was announced that Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star Kevin Love would be out at least six weeks after undergoing surgery on an injured left toe, but according to a recent report it seems some within the Cavs’ organization believe Love will be out for much longer.
According to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, team sources have been keeping mum on whether or not they believe Love will return in the 2018-19 campaign.
“All–Star Kevin Love had surgery to relieve the pain and fluid around his left big toe. Dr. Martin O’Malley performed the surgery Friday in New York. Love is going to be re-evaluated in six weeks, which means there is no current timetable for his return. Team sources wouldn’t speculate on the possibility Love doesn’t play again this season. Let’s leave that to the side for the moment — this Cavs administration is nothing if not cautious with its statements to the media. If Love were to only miss six weeks, he’d return after the Cavs’ murderous stretch of nine games that begins Nov. 21 against LeBron James and the Lakers and ends Dec. 5 against the Warriors. The Celtics, Raptors and 76ers are in there, as are current underachievers with big-time All-Stars like the Rockets and Thunder. Cleveland’s already 1-7 now, 1-3 without Love. He said he’s been sore since the end of the preseason opener Oct. 2, and he was averaging 19 points and 13.5 rebounds on .323 shooting from the field (.292 from 3-point range) in his four games. There is every reason to suspect Love’s absence will extend beyond six weeks. He’s missed at least 22 games in each of the last two seasons due to injury. The Cavs signed him to a four-year, $120 million extension in July and cannot trade him until January. If the Cavs were hoping to move him for a trove of picks and young players, well, the trade deadline is Feb. 7. To make their first-round pick in June, the Cavs need to finish in the bottom 10 this season. The Celtics missed their top two players for much of the season and still pushed Cleveland to a Game 7 in the conference finals last year. The Cavs don’t appear to be headed down that path.”
There is not a whole lot of information regarding why the aforementioned team sources have not speculated on whether or not Love will return. It could certainly point to either the severity of the injury, or the fact that the Cavs are now somewhat clearly in the midst of a lost season. Through nine games, the Cavs have proven victorious in just one. The majority of their losses have been by double-digit margins.
As the sole All-Star on the team, Love was expected to fill the role of leader both on and off the court. Now, he will have to focus on rehabbing his injured toe before even thinking about retaking the court.
An added wrinkle to Love’s latest injury is that it dramatically decreases his trade value. Shortly after Love signed his four-year, $120 million extension this summer, experts remarked that it was a wise move for the Cavs not only because it keeps Love around, but also because it makes him a tradable asset if the Cavs want to load up on draft picks or younger talent.
Luckily, if this season proves to be as full of losses as it seems to be, the Cavs could be headed for an incredibly valuable first-round draft pick. The Cavs’ first-round pick in 2019 is top-10 protected, and the way the season is going so far, it seems the Cavs could have the opportunity to pick at the top of what is an incredibly talented draft class.
Whether or not Love is still on the Cavs’ roster when that rookie is drafted remains to be seen.