Love’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, confirmed the news.
“I am incredibly disappointed to not be heading to Tokyo with Team USA, but you need to be at absolute peak performance to compete at the Olympic level and I am just not there yet,” Love said in a statement released by Schwartz, via Wojnarowski.
Love, 32, suffered a right calf injury and appeared in just 25 of the Cavs’ 72 games during the season. His concerns seem to stem from that injury possibly still lingering.
Barely playing in the exhibition games, Love “struggled mightily” in training camp, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic.
“In a week of training camp and three exhibition games, he showed he would not be a factor at the Olympics,” Vardon wrote. “He was often the last man down the floor on offense, slow on defensive switches and couldn’t get a shot off.”
So Love withdrawing is likely doing Team USA a favor, as they will be able to bring in a more impactful player.
The Cavs are said to be looking to trade Love, but the latest developments will make that near impossible, given that he still has two years and $60 million remaining on his contract.
Nor will it help that he is coming off a season in which he averaged career-lows in points (12.2) and rebounds (7.4).
The Americans have now lost Love and Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal (health and safety protocol). They are 1-2 in exhibition play and their fourth game vs. Australia has bee called off in what U.S. basketball has called “an abundance of caution.”
So things are a bit upside down for Team USA and their high expectations. Love’s decision to withdraw is merely a small bump in the road, however.