CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the Locked On Cavs podcast in the player above is from Oct. 25, 2021.
As the Cleveland Cavaliers return to the East Coast following a four-game road trip out West, it appears they'll be without Kevin Love. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the veteran forward-center is expected to miss "several games" while in the NBA's health and safety protocols.
The Cavs confirmed that Love will miss Monday night's game vs. the Charlotte Hornets while in health and safety protocols and said that they will provide an update on the five-time All-Star's status in the future.
As outlined by the NBA's health and safety protocols, a vaccinated player who is identified as a close contact of somebody who tested positive for COVID-19 is required to undergo testing for seven consecutive days, but is not required to quarantine. Unvaccinated players identified as close contacts via contact tracing are required to quarantine, in addition to testing.
Now in his eighth season in Cleveland, the 33-year-old Love has moved to a bench role following the selection of USC forward-center Evan Mobley with the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. In seven games off the bench this season, Love has averaged 9.9 points on 35.5 percent shooting (20.8 percent from three-point range) and 7.3 rebounds in 20.7 minutes per game.
Should he be out of action for the next week, Love would miss four games, including contests against Charlotte, the Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks. The Cavs enter Monday night's road matchup vs. the Hornets with a 3-4 record after suffering consecutive losses to the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns.