Kevin Love is only 16 games into his first season with the Cavaliers, but that hasn’t stopped plenty of fans from wondering whether or not he’ll be back in Cleveland next season.
Love has a player option on his contract for next year, but it’s a 100 percent certainty that he’ll opt out because it would be the smartest financial decision at the time; it has nothing to do with his ability to pursue his options as an unrestricted free agent.
At least that’s the way Love sees it, with essentially a whole season in front of him and that bridge not needing to be crossed for another six months.
From Scott Sargent of WFNY:
In an interview with ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning”, Love, once again, pledged his allegiance to being a member of the Wine and Gold beyond the 2014-15 season.
“Whether we lose two or three games in a row, or there’s a game where my statistical output isn’t necessarily what it should be, people are always going to talk,” said Love. “Since I was traded to Cleveland this summer, I’ve said since Day 1 that I’m a Cleveland Cavalier long term and I plan for it to be that way. I want to grow with this team. There’s a lot of guys with a lot of unique talent, one-through-fifteen, on our roster who are going to be here for a long time. If I could end all the speculation now, I would. But people are going to continue to talk no matter what. I just want to continue getting better with this team long term. I’m a Cleveland Cavalier.”
Love will opt out, because he can make around $2 million more next season by doing so. He may only sign another one-year deal, too, because the salary cap is expected to jump in a big way the following season, which would allow him to earn far more money at that point by signing a multi-year extension for the max.
But as for whether or not he might bolt Cleveland after just one season, it’s far too early to tell if he’d even consider it.
If the Cavaliers figure things out as most expect, it’s very likely they advance deep into the postseason, at which point they’d have a legitimate chance at making it to the Finals. Should that happen, there would be no reason for Love to leave, because he’d be playing alongside LeBron James on one of the league’s best teams while making as much money as possible.
If things don’t go as planned, however, and Cleveland somehow stumbles through the season? Then, of course, anything is possible.