Name: Kevin Love
Team: Cleveland Cavaliers
2016-2017 Regular Season General Stats: 19.0 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 43 FG%, 37.3 3PT%, 87.1 FT%
2016-2017 Regular Season Advanced Stats: 21.1 PER, .573 TS%, 6.4 WS, 1.7 OBPM, -0.9 DBPM, 1.3 VORP
Kevin Love was the man in Minnesota before Karl-Anthony Towns came around. While he was a nightly double-double machine, he never came close to making the playoffs in his six seasons with the Timberwolves. Ultimately, this led him to be traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, going from the top guy for a non-playoff team to a starter for a contender.
So after three years in Cleveland, Love has made three finals appearances (with one win in 2016) and one All-Star appearance as a Cavalier in 2017 (which he did not play due to injury). His averages during that time were 16.4 points & 9.7 rebounds, 16.0 points, 9.9 rebounds and 19.0 & 11.1 rebounds respectively. Despite the few injuries he has had (including a brutal dislocated shoulder in the 2015 playoffs), Kevin Love has done alright for himself.
No, he has not been the same guy that averaged points in the 20s or rebounds in the mid to low teens like he did back Minnesota but he really doesn’t need to. People questioned the transition he has made since he has averaged fewer points in Cleveland then his did during his last four years in Minneosta. When you got guys like LeBron James and Kyrie Irving at the time on your team, you don’t really need to be averaging that high of numbers to win games.
Kevin Love had his best season as a Cavalier and I expect Kevin Love to average around the same numbers for this upcoming season. The Cavaliers had made some changes to their roster, but as of now they still have LeBron James. Love is still a great scorer and still has the rebounding ability. Let’s also not overlook his passing, especially with his across the court bombs. His shooting percentages have always been decent for a big man but could improve shooting from the three point line with the amount he takes during a game (37% in his three years in Cleveland).
Now with Kyrie Irving gone, Love has the opportunity to be second-hand to LeBron. If Cleveland excels, Kevin Love can turn back to being the guy in Minnesota like fans originally wanted. If the team struggles with the number of new players they have, Love might be on the trading block, which has been the case for the past few seasons.
But for now, let us watch a beautiful outlet pass Kevin Love has been known for.