Kevin Love Said He ‘Fell to the Ground’ When He Heard Jordan Clarkson Was Traded

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Monday’s trade of Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson caught his former teammates off guard, with Kevin Love indicating that Tristan Thompson simply mentioning Clarkson’s new team was enough to devastate him.

Clarkson was dealt to the Utah Jazz in exchange for point guard Dante Exum and two future second-round draft picks. Despite the fact that Clarkson’s name had previously been mentioned in trade rumors, the cold reality of the news from Thompson hit Love hard.

“I said, ‘Utah what?’ Then he said, ‘Jordan,’” Love told “I fell to the ground. This one hurts for me. That is my guy. We just hit it off when he got here a few years ago. He became a really close friend of mine. It’s really tough.”

Love also went on social media to express his admiration for a teammate that had only been with the team since February 2018.

Despite that brief period, the two players clearly had formed a strong bond together.

In reality, the fact that Clarkson was dealt shouldn’t have come as a huge surprise. That’s because he’s set to become a free agent at the end of the 2019-20 season.

The rebuilding Cavaliers were likely determined to get some value in exchange for Clarkson rather than simply wait for him to sign elsewhere this offseason.

Love himself has long been the subject of trade rumors and could also be sent elsewhere before February’s trade deadline. The 31-year-old veteran is in the first year of a four-year contract worth $120 million.

The trade news overshadowed the Cavaliers’ third consecutive win, a 121-118 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

That winning streak marks the longest of the season for the 9-21 Cavs, who are off until a Friday afternoon road matchup against the Boston Celtics.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.