Kevin Love's time left with the Cleveland Cavaliers is likely short but he can still be valuable while here

It's a little awkward given how last season went but, it can still be beneficial for both Love and the Cavaliers long-term.

If you happen to follow the Cleveland Cavaliers on social media, you'll see that their mentions during Kevin Love's player week (a campaign the organization runs during the offseason to promote players) were a minefield. A lot of that fan frustration, and the reason for that hellscape for the Cavs' social team, is twofold. On one side of things, fans are also upset that Love's production has plummeted in the last few seasons, especially after he signed a mammoth four-year, $120 million contract extension.

On the other, which kind of goes hand-in-hand with his extension, Love's attitude when on the court in the last three years has been less than ideal. During a game against the Toronto Raptors, Love had a meltdown after the referee swallowed their whistle on an obvious foul against him. Here’s a clip to show you what happened next:

Things got worse when two games later Love threw another on-court tantrum and refused to shoot the ball against the Washington Wizards. In 22 minutes played, Love had 0 points, 10 rebounds, and 1 assist. To add insult to injury a few days later Love made an appearance on Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes show and shared that he would love to play with Portland superstar Damian Lillard.

That's only what happened in the last season too. It's somewhat understandable why fans are frustrated with Love and ready for his time with the Cavaliers to come to an end. But, at the same time, those same fans should empathize with Love. He's the last remaining member of the 2016 championship squad still on Cleveland's roster. The majority of his former teammates have moved on to continue playing meaningful basketball, especially LeBron James and Kyrie Irving who will likely square off in the NBA Finals.

Love, meanwhile, is still in Cleveland due to his injury-riddled history and the fact that he still has nearly $60 million remaining on his contract. According to sources, Love is open to a contract buyout with the Cavaliers but, at this time, doesn't want to give back any money to the organization in an agreement. These talks will likely continue to drag out into the season and could even last until after the annual trade deadline.

That could happen sooner than expected though since, according to sources, Love is expected to play a reduced role this season with Evan Mobley and Lauri Markkanen both on the roster and part of the future the Cavaliers are trying to build. It'll likely take a handful of games for the reality of the situation to set in for Love that Cleveland is also ready to move on. Maybe then Love will make some sacrifices financially in order to leave the Cavaliers and sign with a contender. Sources say that if that were to happen, the Portland Trail Blazers, the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers would be the front runners to sign Love once he clears waivers.

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But, that's all in the future and for now and as the Cavaliers hold their annual media day today, Love is still a member of the team. It's a little awkward given how last season went but, it can still be beneficial for both Love and Cleveland long-term. Sure, the youth movement is fully on and Love especially is impacted by this. But, in a reduced role Love can still provide meaningful minutes for the Cavaliers, their young nucleus and himself.

When you break down Cleveland's depth chart, other than the lack of wing depth it's clear the Cavaliers are thin behind Mobley, Markkanen and Jarrett Allen. Sure, in a typical playoff scenario you'd expect those three to be your key rotation and Love wouldn't even see the floor. But, this Cleveland squad likely won't be a playoff threat and will need to use this on-court experience to help grow and develop towards becoming a playoff team.

That's where Love can come into play for the Cavaliers both literally and figuratively. He can provide backup minutes behind any of Mobley, Markkanen or Allen as both a reserve power forward or center. Having Love on the floor next to any of those players also gives head coach J.B. Bickerstaff some tactical creativity as well. Love can play alongside any of the aforementioned players in Cleveland's stable of big men and the spacing he provides for both Mobley and Allen makes their lives so much easier offensively. The Cavaliers can also go all-in offensively on the perimeter as well and play Markkanen alongside Love. Sure, it'll be a mess defensively but that tandem could help keep Cleveland in games offensively as well.

The offensive threat that Love possesses also makes life for the remainder of the Cavaliers roster as well. Last season was one of Love's worst in terms of three-point shooting since he was traded to Cleveland seven years ago. But, if you still watch Love on a night-to-night basis you'll see that opposing defenses still respect the threat Love can be from the perimeter. That three-point gravity that Love possesses will not only open things up for the multitude of big men on the Cavaliers but it'll make life easier for guards like Collin Sexton and Darius Garland as well.

More than anything, Love can prove that he's still a viable NBA player as training camp opens for the Cavaliers. If he can make the most of a less-than-ideal opportunity, then more opposing teams might be interested in signing him once his contract is inevitably bought out. It's an unfortunate way to end for the last remaining member from the 2016 squad but it's also just the reality of the situation. While Love might not be in Cleveland for much longer, he can still be valuable to the Cavaliers while he's still here.

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