CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love will be sidelined indefinitely after being placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
Love won’t play in Monday’s game at Charlotte and can’t be around the team. Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said he doesn’t know how many games Love will miss.
“It’s a huge impact,” Bickerstaff said of Love’s absence prior to tipoff Monday. “Not only Kevin as a player, but him as a person around the locker room and on the floor with the guys, helping the young guys through a lot of things that they’re seeing. He makes their job easier as a basketball player. When the ball is in his hands, he’s a threat, he has that gravity as an offensive player, where people hang towards him and that opens up the floor for other people. We will miss him in the locker room and on the floor.”
A source said Love has received the COVID-19 vaccine.
The 33-year-old Love is a staple of Cleveland’s every-night rotation, averaging 9.9 points and 7.3 rebounds in a reserve role. He played 20 minutes and scored 11 points in the Cavs’ 101-92 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night — the penultimate matchup of this current five-game road trip that ends Monday night in Charlotte.
With Love out, Dean Wade and Dylan Windler — two little-used pieces off the bench — are expected to receive more playing time.
Injuries have slowed Love since signing a four-year contract extension in 2018. He has missed 116 games over the past three years. Monday night will be his first absence this season. The Cavs are 3-4 this season.