Kevin Love
Kevin Love
31-Year-Old ForwardF
Cleveland Cavaliers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Love appeared in only 22 games last season while attending to toe, back and shoulder injuries. There was little reason to rush him back into action, as the Cavaliers were one of the worst teams in the league during 2018-19, finishing with just 19 wins. Love clearly wasn't comfortable during his limited action, as he shot just 38.5 percent from the field. Still, his per-36-minute averages were on par with what we've come to expect from Love as a member of the Cavaliers (22.5 points, 14.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists). The two-time All-NBA selection will once again head into 2019-20 as the clear-cut best player on the roster, and there will be plenty of opportunities for him to rack up numbers. Fantasy owners' main concern should be Love's health. He's appeared in just 141 games across the past three seasons, and he'll be heading into his age 31 season on a rebuilding squad where youth development will presumably be the priority. Drafting Love has its risks, but a healthy season would mean big payoff for those who take the chance. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $120.4 million contract extension with the Cavaliers in July of 2018.
Personal Bio

Kevin Wesley Love was born in 1988 in Santa Monica, California to Stan and Karen Love. His father played pro ball for the Bullets, Lakers, and Spurs over four seasons. Love grew up in Oregon and went to Lake Oswego High School, where he averaged an unbelievable 26.8 points and 14.5 rebounds and was named Oregon Player of the Year three times as a four-year starter. During his senior campaign, he posted 33.9 points, 17.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 4.2 blocks per game as the team made it all the way to the state final. Love received many awards in 2007, including the Naismith Prep Player of the Year, the Gatorade National Male Athlete of the Year, and USA Today High School Basketball Player of the Year. He has also represented Team USA and won gold at both the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. In 2018, he founded the Kevin Love Fund to promote healthy living and provide resources to achieve physical and emotional well-being. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram (@kevinlove).

College/International Summary

The mid-2000s were heady days for UCLA. The team hosted a string of future NBA players and made back-to-back Finals Fours in 2007 and 2008. The 2007-08 season was headlined by the recruitment of Love. The Oregon native made his way south after being named Gatorade National Male Athlete of the Year and a First-Team Parade All-American. The 6-foot-10 forward provided 17.5 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks and helped the Bruins win the regular-season Pac-12 title, the Pac-12 Tournament championship and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. UCLA held its seed by winning four games before falling to Derrick Rose and Memphis in the Final Four. In the tournament, Love averaged 19.8 points and 10.6 rebounds and had three double-doubles, including 29 points and 14 rebounds in a Sweet 16 win over Western Kentucky. After one season in Los Angeles, Love made himself available for the 2008 NBA Draft. He was taken fifth overall by the Memphis Grizzlies, and was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves on draft night for the third overall selection, O. J. Mayo, in an eight-player deal.

Scores 17 points, adds seven dimes
FCleveland Cavaliers
March 10, 2020
Love posted 17 points (5-16 FG, 2-13 3Pt, 5-5 FT), eight rebounds, seven assists and one steal in 37 minutes during Tuesday's loss to the Bulls.
ANALYSIS
Over his previous three outings, Love has put up 22.3 points, 12.7 boards, 3.7 dimes and 3.7 triples in 38.1 minutes per game. Numbers like that are good for top 50 value in nine-category leagues. His shot wasn't falling in this one, going 2-of-13 from beyond the arc, but he did put his facilitating on display with seven assists in 37 minutes of play. The biggest concern for fantasy owners regarding Love is his potential availability down the stretch. He'll produce as long as he's on the court, but with the Cavaliers near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, concerns of potential rest days grow for a 31-year old veteran on a rebuilding team.
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Past Season Summaries
2019

Love appeared in 56 games for the Cavaliers during the coronavirus-shortened 2019-20 regular season. He averaged 17.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 31.8 minutes per game. He shot 45.0 percent from the field, made 2.6 threes per game at 37.4 percent and shot 85.4 percent from the free-throw line. His 493 defensive rebounds ranked ninth in the NBA. Love set single-game season highs of 33 points, 20 rebounds, nine assists, six threes, four steals and two blocks. Love scored at least 30 points four times, hit at least five threes 10 times, grabbed at least 15 rebounds seven times and dished out at least five assists 13 times. He also racked up at least one steal 26 times and at least one block 15 times. He added 23 double-doubles as well. Love's longest streak of double-doubles was the opening five games of the season from Oct. 23 through Nov. 1. He played 33.7 minutes per game and averaged 17.2 points on 11.0 shots, 16.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.0 steal.

2018

Love, the former five-time All-Star, was limited to 22 games during the 2018-19 season. He made his season debut on opening night, Oct. 17, and scored 21 points in a loss at Toronto. Two nights later he double-doubled with 25 points, 19 rebounds and seven assists during a loss at Minnesota. But then toe surgery cost Love 46 games from Oct. 25 to Feb. 5. Upon returning, Love posted double digits in scoring in 15 of his next 18 games. His season was highlighted by a 32-point, 12-rebound effort in a victory over Memphis on Feb. 23. The big power forward delivered a double-double in 12 out of his 22 games. On Mar. 24, Love once again grabbed a season-high 19 rebounds, to go with 20 points, during a loss at Milwaukee. He shot a career-best 90.4 percent from the foul line in addition to averaging more than two made three-pointers (2.4) per contest for a fourth straight season. The power forward shot 38.5 percent from behind the arc and started 21 of the 22 contests in which he appeared.

2017

Kevin Love started 59 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017-2018 and averaged 17.6 points with 9.3 rebounds per contest. Love shot 45.8 percent from the floor, including 41.5 percent from three-point range. It was the fifth time in his career that he shot 45 percent or better from the floor, and the second time he shot over 40 percent from downtown. Love collected 31 double-doubles in those 59 regular season contests. He finished 12th in the NBA in rebounding. Love scored a season-high 38 points against Miami on Nov. 28. He was named to his fifth All-Star team. Love averaged a double-double during the playoffs, as the Cavaliers advanced to their fourth-straight NBA Finals. Love managed 19.0 points and 11.3 rebounds in the four Finals games.

2016

Love posted 19.0 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 0.9 steals in the 2016-17 season. His best scoring performance came on Nov. 23, dropping a career-best eight three-pointers for 40 points against the Trail Blazers. He won NBA Player of the Week, for Nov. 21 to Nov. 27, by averaging 30.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 steals. The nine-year vet seemed to re-establish confidence with outside shooting, as evidenced by his career-high 16 three-point attempts on Dec. 29 and 6.5 shots per game (higher than his mark of 5.7 from the previous season). The 6-foot-8 forward also did well beyond scoring, finishing the 2013-14 season eighth in rebounds per game with 11.1. Love missed half of February and March due to arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, but he was able to earn his fourth All-Star selection (his first since 2013-14). The 28-year-old returned in mid-March, posting 15.8 points and 11.1 rebounds through 14 contests the rest of the way. Love averaged 16.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 0.9 blocks starting all of the Cavaliers' 18 postseason matches. The All-Star's most memorable playoff performance was in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, where he grabbed 21 of Cleveland's 59 rebounds. Though the Cavs advanced to their third consecutive NBA Finals, Love's team fell short to the Golden State Warriors.

2015

Though he opted out of the final year in his contract, Love re-signed with the Cavaliers on a five-year deal. In the first year of his new contract, the three-time All-Star proceeded to average 16.0 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists. The eight-year veteran proved to be healthier than ever, tying his career-high of 77 games played. Love was again a tertiary but lethal scoring option when needed, as demonstrated by a season-best 34 points in the team's Nov. 23 win against the Magic. Love also collected 35 double-doubles in 2015-16, including one where he secured a season-high 19 boards against the Pacers on Nov. 8. Though the 6-foot-8 forward fell just short of averaging double digits in rebounds, his 762 total boards were good enough to stand in the top 10 of said category. Cleveland concluded the 2015-16 campaign first in the Eastern Conference, giving Love just his second run in the postseason. In the playoffs, he posted 14.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists while starting 19 of 20 contests for the Cavs. Love's most meaningful contribution was against the Raptors in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, where he scored 25 points under 24 minutes to help establish a 3-2 lead for Cleveland. Love and the Cavaliers went on to redeem themselves from the prior year, defeating the Warriors in the NBA Finals to win the first championship in franchise's history.

2014

During the offseason, the Cavaliers received Love's services via a blockbuster three-team trade involving the Timberwolves and 76ers. It teamed him up with free-agent signing LeBron James and mainstay Kyrie Irving, forming a new big three in Cleveland. Love posted 16.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists in his first season with the Cavs. Despite the star overhaul, he assembled 38 double-doubles in 75 contests played. The 6-foot-8 forward's 589 defensive rebounds were fourth in the league, making it four consecutive seasons where he finished in the top five of that category league-wide. Love grabbed his season-high of 19 boards twice, one on Dec. 15 against the Hornets and the other on Jan. 5 at Philadelphia. The 26-year-old averaged 14.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in his first-ever playoff run. However, a dislocated left shoulder during Game 4 of the first round forced him to miss the remainder of the postseason due to injury. Cleveland advanced to the NBA Finals, where the team felt Love's absence as they lost to Golden State in six games.

2013

In the 2013-14 campaign, Love averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists -- the point and assist averages were both career-high marks for him. The six-season veteran seemed to have more control of the ball than ever before, considering he finished fourth in total points (2,010) and dished a career-high ten assists three times. Love also demonstrated increased confidence in outside shots, making 2.5 of the 6.6 three-point shots he attempted per game -- both were career-best marks for him as well. Love's outside shooting was further exemplified on Dec. 13 at San Antonio, when he scored a career-best eight three-pointers for 42 points. It did not deter him from his rebounds, as the 6-foot-8 forward averaged 10-plus boards for the fifth consecutive season. The 25-year-old produced a career-high 65 double-doubles, further cementing him as a lethal dual-threat for the Timberwolves. Love not only secured a third All-Star selection, but he also earned his first All-Star Game start by receiving the final spot for the Western Conference frontcourt. After the break, Love proceeded to win the following week's NBA Player of the Week Award by averaging 36.7 points and 12.7 rebounds through three games between Feb. 19 and Feb. 23. Following the season, he earned his second career All-NBA Second Team honor.

2012

The 2012-13 season was Love's fifth year in the Association. He played in 18 games for Minnesota and generated per-game averages of 18.3 points, 14.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Love missed 64 games due to complications in his right hand, fracturing it in October and again in January. Love remained a top scoring option when healthy, as evidenced by a season-best 36 points delivered on Dec. 7 in a home win over the Cavaliers. Love upped his rebounds per game from the previous campaign (13.3 in 2011-12). For the fourth straight season, Love gathered 11 or more boards per contest. His most notable rebounding performance was on Nov. 27 during a win at Sacramento. During the victory over the Kings, Love scored 23 points and grabbed a career-high 21 defensive rebounds and a season-high 24 total boards.

2011

Love averaged 26.0 points, 13.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. The 23-year-old averaged the second-most minutes per game (39.0) in the NBA. His 26.0 points per contest and 1432 total points scored placed him in the top five among all NBA players. Love set a new career scoring-best on Mar. 23, shooting 7-of-11 from three to conclude with 51 points at Oklahoma City. His 13.3 rebounds averaged and 734 total boards gathered were good enough to finish second in both categories. Love grabbed a season-high 21 boards on two occasions, against the Knicks on Feb. 11 and the Nuggets on Mar. 25. He completed the campaign with multiple honors: his second All-Star selection, first All-NBA Second Team spot and a sixth-place finish in the MVP voting. Love missed the last seven games of the season due to a concussion.

2010

The 2010-11 season was a breakout season for Kevin Love. He posted career-best averages of 20.2 points, 15.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists under 35.8 minutes in 73 starts for the Timberwolves. Love further exemplified his increased scoring efficiency with career-high averages of 47.0 percent shooting from 14.1 field-goal attempts per game. He exploded for a career-high 43 points (14-23 FG, 5-5 3Pt, 10-12 FT) at Denver on Dec. 18. The 6-foot-8 forward was the NBA's best rebounder in 2010-11, finishing first in rebounds per contest (15.2) and total rebounds (1112). Love memorably delivered a 31-point, 31-rebound performance on Nov. 12 versus New York, becoming the first player to achieve the 30-30 feat since Moses Malone did it in 1982. Love collected 64 double-doubles for the season. Commissioner David Stern handpicked Love as Yao Ming's replacement for the 2011 All-Star Game, giving the 22-year-old his first All-Star selection. The third-year big man managed to win the NBA's Most Improved Player Award for his phenomenal progress. He missed nine of the team's final 11 games due to a groin injury.

2009

In 2009-10, Love appeared in 60 games (22 starts) during his second season in the NBA with Minnesota. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged per-game career highs in points (14.0), rebounds (11.0) and assists (2.3). Despite playing in fewer contests than in his rookie season, Love managed to record more double-doubles (36). On Jan. 31, the 21-year-old posted a career-high 25 points and 11 boards in a home win over the Knicks. Love's most impressive performance came on Mar. 28 versus the Suns, when he scored 23 points and grabbed a career-best 22 boards. On Apr. 7 and 9, Love generated back-to-back games in which he collected 18 rebounds. Love sat out the Timberwolves' first 18 games of the season due to a left hand fracture.

2008

Love was selected fifth overall by the Grizzlies in the 2008 NBA Draft. Memphis later dealt the UCLA product to the Timberwolves in a trade involving third overall pick O.J. Mayo. In his rookie season, Love averaged 11.1 points and 9.1 rebounds in 25.3 minutes across 81 games (37 starts). He made an impact quickly, going for 20 points and eight rebounds in his fifth NBA game, Nov. 7 against Sacramento. Love went on to score 20-plus points six times and record 29 double-doubles. He also finished ninth in the NBA in total rebounds (734) and third in offensive rebounds (274). Love became the first NBA rookie since Hakeem Olajuwon (1984-85) to lead the league in offensive rebound percentage. His highest scoring output came Feb. 25 against Utah, when he racked up 24 points along with 15 rebounds. Love's biggest rebounding effort was yet to come, though. On Mar. 17, Love grabbed a season-high 19 boards to accompany 17 points. Love's scoring and rebounding prowess earned him a spot on the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. He also won the Rookie of the Month Award in March for averaging 15.8 points and 9.6 rebounds through 17 games.

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Transaction History
  • June 26, 2008
    Drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 1st round (5th pick) of the 2008 NBA Draft.
  • June 27, 2008
    Traded by the Memphis Grizzlies along with Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal and Jason Collins to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for O.J. Mayo, Antoine Walker, Marko Jaric, and Greg Buckner
  • July 7, 2008
    Signed a rookie multi-year contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves
  • January 1, 2012
    Signed a four-year contract extension with the Minnesota Timberwolves
  • August 23, 2014
    As part of a 3-team trade, traded by the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Anthony Bennett, Andrew Wiggins and a trade exception
  • July 9, 2015
    Signed a five-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers
  • July 24, 2018
    Signed a four-year contract extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
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2007
Love's 2017-18 season was hampered by a fractured left hand, which costed him a stretch of 20 straight contests and resulted in him playing in 60 or less games for the second straight campaign. Even when he was on the court, Love appeared to take a step back from a year prior, seeing his point (17.6), rebound (9.3) and assist (1.7) averages fall. He was still an asset as a three-point shooter, though, and hit 2.3 deep balls at a 41.5 percent clip, while adding an efficient 45.8 percent from the field and 88.0 percent from the charity stripe. Love's point, rebound and three-point totals, as well as his strong percentages, all kept him in the running as a top tier option that could be slotted in at both power forward or center. An already strong Fantasy asset, Love has the chance to up his production across the board during the upcoming season. Most notably comes the departure of superstar LeBron James, who led the Cavaliers in scoring, assisting and minutes last season, while falling behind just Love in the rebound department. With such a high usage player leaving, Love's numbers are likely going to be significantly impacted across the board. Look for his scoring and rebounding numbers to make the most notable jump, as Love's usage and shot attempts are going to trend upwards. The added usage could hurt his efficiency, though, so don't be overly surprised if Love's percentages dip a bit. Still, with Love officially being the new building block of the future and earning a four-year, $120 million extension, look for the offense to run through him and there's a chance we see some flashes of the player that originally broke out during his Minnesota days.
In his third season with Cleveland, Love had arguably his best year as a Cavalier, though he was limited to just 60 games due to a left knee injury that needed arthroscopic surgery in February. Still, when he did take the court, Love averaged three-year highs of 19.0 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.4 three-pointers, while adding 1.9 assists and shooting 37.3 percent from the three-point line. That marked his best clip from deep during his time in Cleveland and he also shot a spectacular 87.1 percent from the free-throw line. The Cavaliers opted to trade Kyrie Irving to the Celtics in the offseason, bringing back Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a first-round pick in return. Crowder's arrival will likely have the most impact on Love, as that allows the Cavaliers to go with more small-ball lineups if necessary. While it's unclear exactly what the starting lineup will be, the Cavaliers could use Crowder at power forward and shift Love to center at times to create some mismatches in the frontcourt. That could allow Love to improve his rebounding numbers once again, though Thomas' presence, who averaged a whopping 28.9 points with Boston, could come at the expense of a few of Love's shot attempts. Still, Love shouldn't have much trouble approaching his 2016-17 averages and that should lock him in as a top-10 power forward. He'll be a double-double threat every night he sees the floor, while his value continues to be boosted by a strong perimeter game as well.
For the second straight season, Love's production paled in comparison to his pre-Cleveland numbers, but he appeared to grow more comfortable in his role as the third option behind LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. Love thrived early in the season while Irving missed time following offseason kneecap surgery, posting averages of 19.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game through the end of November. But once Irving returned, Love's numbers began to regress, as he averaged just 14.0 points on 41.7 percent shooting in January and 15.1 points on 38.7 percent shooting in February. Still, Love closed the regular season with a respectable 16.0-9.9-2.4 line in 31.5 minutes per game, his lowest total since the 2009-10 season. Long considered a defensive liability, Love endured an up-and-down postseason but closed with a strong Game 7 against the Warriors in which he secured 14 rebounds and sealed the Cavaliers' victory with an improbable smothering of Stephen Curry as the clock ticked down. The possession -- and in a broader sense, the Cavaliers' title -- helped to put to rest the notion that Love can't be on the floor in crunch-time situations. Entering 2016-17, Love's role will remain relatively unchanged as the Cavaliers bring back nearly every integral piece from last season's roster. Getting Love more involved in the offense was a point of emphasis after Tyronn Lue replaced David Blatt as head coach, and that figures to carry over, though Love's game still remains heavily three-point dependent. Last season, a career-high 45 percent of Love's field-goal attempts came from beyond the arc, compared to 41 percent in 2014-15 and 35.5 percent in 2013-14, his final season with the Timberwolves.
Despite being on a team that won more games in one season than he had won in his first six years in the NBA, there was an air of disappointment that surrounded Kevin Love's first season in Cleveland. As the third option on the offense, Love's point production fell to 16.4 points, his lowest average since his second season in the league. He also failed to average double-digit rebounds (9.7 per game) for the first time since his rookie year. Love's other numbers – 34 minutes, 75 games, 43 percent from the field, 80 percent from the line, 2.2 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.5 blocks – were reasonably similar to his career averages. The former Timberwolf did not get much of a taste of the playoffs as he suffered a separated shoulder in the first round against the Celtics and did not come back. He should be ready for the 2015-16 regular season. The big question in his second season in Cleveland is whether LeBron James and Kyrie Irving can better incorporate the 6-10 forward into the offense. Love will likely get more accustomed to his role in the defense and may get more touches within the arc (he took more than 40 percent of his shots from three-point land) to improve his overall effectiveness.
After spending six playoff-less years in Minnesota, Kevin Love seems like a shoe-in to make the postseason for the first time after coming to Cleveland. The three-time All-Star joined the Cavaliers in a three-team deal that sent number one picks Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett to the land of 10,000 lakes. Love is coming off perhaps his finest NBA season. The 25-year-old was able to play a career-high 77 games while playing 36 minutes per game last season, averaging 26.1 points, 2.5 three-pointers, 12.5 rebounds (third best average in the league), and a career-high 4.4 assists to go along with 0.8 steals and 0.5 blocks. He converted 46 percent of his field goals, 38 percent from long range, and 82 percent from the charity stripe. While his numbers won't dip as much as Chris Bosh's did when Bosh went from Toronto to Miami, it seems unlikely that Love will be able to launch 18 shots and more than six three-pointers per game this season. Playing with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving will mean fewer offensive opportunities for the 6-10 forward, but there is a strong chance that his efficiency will improve greatly. Cleveland is not very deep in the frontcourt, so Love could see minutes at both power forward and center when coach David Blatt goes with a small-ball lineup.
Love battled through injuries with his hand and wrist, limiting his efficiency and ending his season early. In 2011-12, the forward averaged 26.0 points (45 percent from the field), 13.3 rebounds and 1.9 three-pointers made. While he managed to play just 18 games last season, he finished with averages of 18.3 points (35 percent from the field), 14.0 rebounds and 1.1 three-pointers made. News regarding his recovery status over the summer has been optimistic for the most part, and it would not be unreasonable to expect Love to have a monster bounce-back season. His lack of contribution in traditional power forward categories such as field goal percentage and blocks are well made up by his magnitude of points and rebounds, along with his ability to hit three-pointers. Love should be considered a first-round pick in almost all fantasy formats, and as long as he can remain healthy, he should return to being the elite fantasy option he once was. With fellow teammate Ricky Rubio manning the offense at the point guard position, and with rising center Nikola Pekovic forcing defensive pressure down low, Love will get enough touches and opportunities to put up strong fantasy numbers overall.
It seemed Love had established his fantasy value in 2010-11, when he averaged 20.2 points and 15.2 rebounds. How does it get better than that? How does six more points per game sound? Love built on his breakout 2010-11 season with even better production during the shortened 2011-12 NBA season, increasing his scoring average to 26.0 per game while not sacrificing too much in the way of rebounding (13.3). The presence of Nikola Pekovic lightened Love’s burden on the glass, allowing him to increase his 3-point attempts (5.1 per game). As a three-category (scoring, rebounding, three-pointers) monster, Love is a no-brainer first-round selection in fantasy drafts. However, you’ll want to make sure you’re covered in traditional big-man categories in which Love doesn’t do well. He managed just 0.5 blocks per game, and his shooting percentage dipped below 45 percent (44.8) for the first time in his career. Health-wise, Love was limited to 55 games (of a possible 66) because of a concussion. Obviously, we saw him playing in the Olympic Games, so that episode is no longer an issue. Though concussions do have a way of recurring.
Of all the players in the NBA who took a jump in fantasy value last season, Love might have made the biggest leap. A solid mid-round investment after his first two productive seasons with the Timberwolves, Love has developed into a fantasy stud that will be selected in the top-10 of nearly every draft this year. Powered by a streak of 53 consecutive games with a double-double, Love posted averages of 20.2 points and a league-leading 15.2 rebounds, making him the first NBA player to average 20 points and 15 rebounds since Moses Malone accomplished the feat during the 1982-83 season. While Love is an absolute monster on the glass, he doesn't do well in the other traditional big man stats, as his 47.0 percent from the floor and 0.4 blocks per game leave a lot to be desired from a power forward. Fortunately Love makes up for his lack of production in those areas by posting a strong free throw percentage (85.0) and hitting 1.2 three-pointers per game. His strength in scoring, rebounding and three-pointers already make him first-round option in fantasy, and if Love can ever develop his defensive game, he could one day challenge to be at the top of the heap.
Love is generally regarded as one of the top young bigs in the league, though we can't help but wonder if he'll ever reach that potential under Minnesota's current regime. Love's minutes – and by extension, his numbers – were badly limited last season by his team's decision that he and teammate Al Jefferson didn't have enough size to man the power forward and center spots at the same time. Jefferson is gone now, but he's been replaced by another undersized power forward in Michael Beasley, and team management committed big dollars to centers Darko Milicic and Nikola Pekovic – so playing Love at the pivot seems unlikely. Even as a reserve, Love will have fantasy value; he averaged a double-double last season despite the inconsistent playing time, is one of the league's better passers out of the high post, can hit the occasional three and is very good from the free throw line (81.5 FT% in 2009-10). We'd love to see what he can do given starter's minutes on a consistent basis – we just hope David Kahn and Kurt Rambis share our curiosity.
Love entered his rookie season with a few questions about how well his game would translate at the NBA level, but his consistent play has answered them so far. Love started the season coming off the bench, but was bumped to the starting lineup after Al Jefferson sustained a season-ending knee injury in February. Love seized the opportunity, averaging 13.1 points and 9.4 rebounds in 37 games as a starter. Jefferson is expected to be back at full strength when camp opens, but Love should stick with the starting unit, sliding over to power forward. The presence of Jefferson in the lineup should benefit Love’s offensive attack, as opposing teams will be more focused on stopping Big Al on the block. While Love will be a solid source of points and rebounds, it remains to be seen how much he’ll contribute on the defensive end. He plays steady defense, and he’s usually in the right position due to his high basketball IQ, but he lacks the athleticism to rack up many blocks or steals. Despite his defensive limitations, Love should improve during his sophomore campaign. Minnesota is in rebuilding mode, and Love is one of the centerpieces, teaming with Jefferson as the building blocks of the frontcourt.
Love was the subject of much debate all winter. He was an outstanding college player, no doubt, with excellent size and an outstanding feel for the game. But his athleticism – and generally pudgy appearance – gave doubters plenty of ammunition. But Love’s “measurables” impressed at the pre-draft workouts, and he shot up the draft boards – eventually landing in the fifth-overall slot. The late draft night trade that sent Love to from Memphis to Minnesota puts him in good position to succeed – he’ll have big man Al Jefferson to handle the heavy lifting in the paint and Mike Miller on the receiving end of his passes out of the high post. We envision him as a poor man’s Chris Webber – a big man who will score and rebound well, but whose biggest fantasy asset will be a surprisingly high assist total.
Love should emerge as a starter for Minnesota early in the season at center next to Al Jefferson. The T-Wolves thought enough of his skills that they traded No. 3 overall pick O.J. Mayo for him in a draft-day deal that also returned Mike Miller. Love may have a limited scoring game initially, as the T-Wolves have raved about his passing skills and may play farther outside of the lane than most true centers. He could develop into a poor man's Chris Webber – a big man who will score and rebound well, but whose biggest fantasy asset will be a surprisingly high assist total.
More Fantasy News
Big minutes in back-to-back set
FCleveland Cavaliers
March 9, 2020
Love finished with 14 points (3-12 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 7-8 FT), 18 rebounds and three assists across 40 minutes Sunday in the Cavaliers' 132-129 overtime win over the Spurs.
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Leads team with 27 points
FCleveland Cavaliers
March 7, 2020
Love totaled 27 points (9-17 FG, 5-11 3Pt, 4-5 FT), six rebounds and three assists in 37 minutes during Saturday's 104-102 victory over the Nuggets.
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Scores 26 points in loss
FCleveland Cavaliers
March 4, 2020
Love recorded 26 points (9-17 FG, 5-10 3Pt, 3-3 FT), 14 rebounds, five assists and one block across 37 minutes in Wednesday's 112-106 loss to the Celtics.
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Drops 22 in loss to Jazz
FCleveland Cavaliers
March 2, 2020
Love scored 22 points (7-15 FG, 6-11 3Pt, 2-3 FT) while adding nine rebounds, two assists and a steal in 32 minutes during Monday's 126-113 loss to the Jazz.
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Fills stat sheet in loss
FCleveland Cavaliers
March 1, 2020
Love posted 20 points (6-9 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 7-8 FT), 12 rebounds, seven assists and one steal in 37 minutes during Saturday's 113-104 loss to the Pacers.
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