While LeBron James says any thought about him being interested in playing for the Golden State Warriors is “nonsense,” Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Kevin Love found out he will not need hand surgery although his timetable for a return is now two months.
On Thursday, ESPN, citing anonymous sources, reported James would consider meeting with the NBA champions this summer when he can opt out of his contract and be a free agent.
James said he initially laughed at the report and then became upset because it questions “what I’m trying to do here. It’s a discredit to my teammates and the coaching staff here.”
James understands there will always be speculation about his future, but any link to the Warriors is a “non-story.”
The 33-year-old said reports about him undermine his attempt to get the Cavaliers to a fourth consecutive NBA Finals. James and the Cavaliers have played Golden State in the past three Finals.
James has said he intends to play the reset of his career in Cleveland, but that hasn’t slowed speculation about his next move.
Love broke the fifth metacarpal in his left hand Tuesday night during the first quarter of a loss at Detroit. Following consultation at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery, the team’s medical staff decided Love can recover without an operation.
Love’s injury is yet another obstacle for the Cavs, who went 6-8 during a bumpy January that included several blowout losses and some finger-pointing between teammates.
The five-time All-Star is averaging 17.9 points and 9.4 rebounds in his fourth season with Cleveland.
With Love out, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue started forward Jae Crowder on Wednesday against Miami. Last week, Lue moved Crowder into the second unit and started Tristan Thompson at center with Love moving back to power forward.
Love has been replaced on the All-Star team by Heat guard Goran Dragic.
The New York Knicks and Joakim Noah have mutually agreed that he will not be back with the club until further notice. Noah left the team last week after a dispute with coach Jeff Hornacek. He’s already missed a pair of games this week. The veteran center hasn’t reclaimed a rotation spot after missing the start of the season while serving the remainder of a 20-game suspension. That suspension began last season for violating terms of the anti-drug agreement. The Knicks could try to find a trade for him before next Thursday’s deadline. However, a deal will be difficult because he has two more seasons remaining on the $72-million contract he signed in the summer of 2016.