Maybe if Kevin Love is ultimately pushed out the door in Cleveland, the fingerprints on his back will belong to a rather influential individual.
LeBron James. Or perhaps not.
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News says a league source is telling him that James is the one pressuring the Cavaliers front office to acquire Carmelo Anthony, even if that means trading Love.
But, after the Cavaliers had defeated the Wizards 140-135 in overtime Monday night (with Love scoring 39 points), James called the Daily News report “trash.” Coach Ty Lue said Love is “not going anywhere,” and Love called the rumor “a lie.”
LeBron James on the latest NY Daily News trade rumor involving the Cavs dealing Kevin Love: "trash"
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 7, 2017
The Daily News reported last February that James and Anthony discussed forcing a trade to Cleveland, but Anthony said he wasn’t ready to leave New York and thus did not ask the team to pursue a possible trade. With the Knicks at 22-30 entering Monday’s game against the Lakers and in jeopardy of missing the playoffs for a fourth straight season, Anthony knows his championship window is closing fast.
Whether LeBron has enough influence over the Cavs front office and owner Dan Gilbert to force a trade is unclear. ESPN reported last month that James is upset that management did not honor its commitment to find a suitable back-up point guard. The Cavs have since worked out several free agent point guards, including Mario Chalmers and Lance Stephenson.
Knicks president Phil Jackson has been actively trying to move Anthony for several weeks. But the 31-year-old forward has a no-trade clause that complicates things. And then there is the matter of the Cavs’ brass not really wanting to trade Love.
With the Feb. 23 trade deadline approaching and the Cavs still stuck in a midseason rut, things could get even interesting in Cleveland.