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Koby Altman doesn’t want Cavaliers to take a step backward, says team doesn’t get better by moving Kevin Love

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In his first comments since LeBron James’ departure, the Cavs’ GM doesn’t seem interested in bottoming out.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Cavaliers GM Koby Altman, in his first comments since the team lost LeBron James to the Lakers, made his argument against tanking.

“The years where you’re non-competitive aren’t fun,” Altman said in Las Vegas, per cleveland.com. “And I know that’s hard to build a culture that way and we’ve had a great culture of winning because of LeBron and that infrastructure that he brings right away. And I’d like to capitalize on that.

“You won’t be nearly as good if you lose a player of that magnitude. But we can still be competitive, we can be tough, we can be skilled, we can be talented and we can still use that culture that’s sort of been embedded these last four years.”

That also means that the Cavs aren’t interested in dealing Kevin Love, who is their best trade chip. It’s possible that Cleveland could ultimately decide to deal Love — and per cleveland.com, teams have asked about Love — but it does not seem to be a pressing matter.

“Kevin is an All-Star and you don’t get better by moving Kevin,” Altman said. “Kevin’s been incredible for us for four years and he wants to be here, and to me that’s a big part for guys that are here and the guys that we’re gonna acquire, is that they want to be here and be a part of this new chapter and culture that we’re creating.”

Additionally, Altman told cleveland.com that restricted free agent Rodney Hood is in the team’s plans — coach Tyronn Lue said the same thing while appearing on NBA TV Friday —and that the Cavs have talked about offering an extension to Larry Nance Jr. Altman also said the owner Dan Gilbert is not insisting on staying out of the luxury tax in future years if there’s “the right opportunity” and “it’s worth it to our franchise.”

Overall, the team does not seem like it plans on bottoming out and embarking on its own version of The Process.

“I really like what we have now and I don’t necessarily want to go backwards,” Altman said.