Tommy Gilligan / USA TODAY Sports
While he was busy pouring in 39 points on 17 shots, hauling in 12 rebounds, swiping three steals, hurling a game-saving full-court assist, and generally enjoying one of his best games of the season to lead his Cleveland Cavaliers to an overtime win in Washington on Monday night, Kevin Love‘s name was being bandied about in trade rumors.
A report from Frank Isola of the New York Daily News during the game cited a source who said LeBron James was pushing the Cavs’ front office to trade for New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, even if it meant trading his All-Star teammate.
James was asked about the report after the game, and he was unequivocal.
“Yeah I saw that and heard about it, it’s trash,” James told reporters. “And the guy who wrote it is trash, too, for writing that. Especially during a game like that. It’s always about outside noise, and that’s just outside noise for us.”
It’s unclear whether Isola’s source came from within the Knicks organization or elsewhere, but the Cavaliers were unified in their staunch rejection of the rumor.
“Kevin should be happy that teams want him, but he’s not going anywhere,” said head coach Tyronn Lue.
“It’s a lie,” said Love himself. “What do they say? A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put his pants on.”
James, who has reportedly been at odds with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert recently over Gilbert’s hesitance to spend more luxury-tax dollars to add another playmaker, struck a more happy-go-lucky tone Monday.
“We gotta focus on what needs to be done in order for us to continue to compete for a championship, and we got what we got,” he said. “Our GM will do a great job of figuring out if we need something else, but right now we’re in a good place.”