NBA

Cavaliers’ Kevin Love bats inbounds pass directly to Raptors out of frustration for worst turnover of season

USATSI

When Kevin Love re-signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2018, he likely expected the team would be competitive by 2021. The team even took steps to assure that, like holding onto the first-round pick that would become Collin Sexton rather than dealing it for immediate help when LeBron James was still on the team. But an ugly 16-point loss to the Raptors Monday was just more proof of how far away the Cavaliers remain, and how frustrating that is for Love. 

On one play, in particular, Love made what was at best a lazy decision and at worst a passive-aggressive one that resulted in one of the ugliest turnovers of the season. When an official passed him the ball to inbound it, Love didn’t even bother to catch it. He just absent-mindedly batted it inbounds. The Raptors quickly gained possession and scored an easy 3-pointer.  

This is hardly the first time Love has expressed his frustration on the court. Last season, he visibly got angry at Sexton for holding the ball too long, and then, as soon as he got it, he whipped a fastball to Cedi Osman immediately as if to prove a point. 

Love has two years remaining on his deal with Cleveland and is owed more than $60 million over that time. That makes a trade unlikely, but as Blake Griffin proved, if a player is willing to leave enough money on the table, teams are willing to consider multi-year buyouts. With Cleveland still likely several years away from serious contention and Love set to turn 33 in September, a split makes sense for both parties. 



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