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Cavs Notes

Kevin Love opts out of World Cup play

  • Clippers-Cavaliers-Basketball-3

    Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love walks in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, March 22 in Cleveland. Love has opted against playing in the World Cup this off-season.

    DAVID DERMER / AP

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The Cavaliers won’t have to worry about oft-injured power forward Kevin Love getting hurt while playing for USA Basketball this summer.

The five-time NBA All-Star withdrew his name from consideration Wednesday, joining a growing list of players who have rescinded previous commitments prior to an Aug. 5-9 tryout camp in Las Vegas.

Other players to decide against participating include Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Bradley Beal, Tobias Harris, James Harden, DeMar DeRozan, Eric Gordon and Anthony Davis.

The tryout camp will be used to select finalists for USA Basketball’s 12-man roster at the 32-team FIBA World Cup, to be held Aug. 31-Sept. 15 in China.

Those selected to play for USA Basketball will have made roughly a 45-day commitment that will include trips to Canada and Australia prior to heading to China.

Team USA is expected to win the championship and likely won’t return home until the middle of the third week of September. NBA training camps will start a little more than a week after that.

Love, who was part of gold medal-winning teams at the 2010 World Cup and 2012 Olympics, played in just 22 games for the Cavs last season due to a foot injury. He averaged 17.0 points, 10.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists as Cleveland tied for the second-worst record in the NBA at 19-63.

Love also missed 22 games in 2016-17 and 23 in 2017-18 after playing in 152 of a possible 164 regular-season games in his first two seasons with the Cavs. In his 11 pro seasons, he has suffered head, shoulder, groin, knee and foot injuries.

The 6-foot-11, 251-pound Love is clearly the Cavs’ most talented player and will earn $30 million this season in the first year of a four-year, $120 million contract extension he signed last summer.

Given his team’s rebuilding nature, Cleveland general manager Koby Altman likely is open to trading the 30-year-old, but only if it nets the Cavs several first-round draft picks and a promising young player or two.

Love, who has twice been named to the All-NBA second team, owns career averages of 18.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists, with season highs of 26.1 points (2013-14), a league-leading 15.2 rebounds (2010-11) and 4.4 assists (2013-14). All of Love’s season highs — and his two All-NBA selections — came while playing with Minnesota, where he was the focal point of the offense.

With the Cavs, Love has been part of teams that reached four straight NBA Finals from 2015-18 and won a championship in 2016.

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Follow him @RickNoland on Twitter.


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