NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — LeBron James and the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers are not having all of this trade speculation about teammate Kevin Love.
It’s no secret the Knicks want to trade Carmelo Anthony, and Love has apparently been on their radar for some time. The sides reportedly spoke about a deal not long ago, but the Cavs balked when the Knicks proposed a Melo-for-Love swap.
The idea of that trade died right there and then, or at least that’s what many thought. The New York Daily News got the ball rolling again Monday night when it reported that James really wants Anthony and is pushing the Cavaliers’ front office to bite the bullet and move Love in a deal.
That story didn’t sit well with James or Love as they were quick to bury it following the Cavs’ 140-135 overtime win in Washington.
“It’s trash,” James said of the report. “And the guy who wrote it is trash too, for writing that, especially during the game like that. So it’s always about outside noise, and that’s just outside noise for us. We got to focus on what needs to be done and that’s to continue to compete for a championship. And we got who we got. Our GM will do a great job of figuring out if we need something else, but right now we’re in a good place.”
Love seemed to reiterate James’ stance.
“What do they say?” Love said. “‘A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put his pants on.’ So, it’s a lie.”
Love had 39 points and 12 rebounds in Monday’s win and has been a big part of the Cavs’ rise to prominence, averaging 17.1 points and 10.1 rebounds, while shooting 50.8 percent from the floor, in 195 games since joining the team prior to the 2014-15 season.
“You know, if Bron is having any problem with me,” Love said with a laugh. “I mean, it’s just not true. It’s almost laughable. I’m on this team. I’m going to be on this team. And we want to win with the guys that we have.”
The Cavaliers (35-15) entered play Tuesday with a 2 1/2-game lead over Boston atop the Eastern Conference. The reigning NBA champions have won three straight and five of six following a a stretch in which they lost six of eight, a slide that reportedly prompted James to push the team’s front office to make a move.
Hence, the perceived interest in Anthony.
The Knicks (22-31) appear more than willing to unload their high-priced superstar because this season has not gone in the direction they had hoped and they likely want to build around young forward Kristaps Porzingis starting this offseason. New York has reportedly also talked to the Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers about Anthony.
Projected as a playoff team prior to the season, New York has lost 18 of its last 24 games and currently sits in 12th place in the East.
Boos rained down from the Madison Square Garden rafters during the Knicks’ 121-107 loss to the rebuilding Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night.
“You’ve got to play for some pride,” Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said. “You’ve got to come out there and play. These teams come in, it’s New York, so they’re going to be ready to play. If you don’t match their effort and energy, you’re not going to win. Right from the start they outhustled us.”
Anthony led the Knicks with 26 points.