Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love may be making headlines for his controversial pregame handshake with guard Kyrie Irving, but he also shot down rumors that he would not be joining the Los Angeles Lakers.
According to Matt Moore of CBS Sports, Love took on both rumors on Friday about a potential trade to the Lakers and a handshake that appeared to be a smoking gesture of illicit drugs. Love argued that both premises were not true.
"Whatever we were doing with our hands was about as true as me going to the Lakers," Love said. "Going to the Lakers, I don't know where someone got that."
Love then added that Irving and he "were actually curling our mustache." He noted that although the video footage doesn't lie about his gestures, he admitted that "it does look like we're doing something bad."
Aside from the handshake brouhaha, the speculation that he would return to Los Angeles as a Laker stood from the fact that he went to UCLA before playing in the NBA. A Fox Sports report stated that although he left the Minnesota Timberwolves for Cleveland in an August trade, other teams wanted to recruit him on their rosters, including the Lakers.
Fox Sports also speculated that the trade rumors could be based on Cleveland's performance on the basketball court. According to Fox Sports, the Cavaliers currently have a 3-3 record while Love has netted 18.7 points and 10.2 rebounds so far, which are both below his career averages.
Moore thinks that trading Love to the Lakers doesn't make any sense to him.
"He's probably going to opt out this summer, because he can get a guaranteed five-year deal with Cleveland or a four-year deal with any other team, and can do so for more money than he's making now," Moore wrote. "He might wait a year to get the 2016 TV deal money, but even if the Cavaliers were to fail in monumental ways, why would he consider the Lakers at this point?"
However, Moore warned that trade rumor denials are "part of the playbook for free agents." In addition, Mike Foss of USA Today argued that it might be a practical idea for Love to move to Los Angeles, especially if the Cavaliers don't win a championship this season under the leadership of LeBron James.
"The unfulfilling season ends, Love has the option of moving, and Los Angeles offers him the most money," Foss wrote in a theoretical scenario. "Why wouldn't he take that deal? We all would take that deal."
Love will become a free agent eight months from now, hence the swirling speculation on where he will go.