Kevin Love is a max player — he got a maximum dollar contract extension from Minnesota, that is the contract his is playing under currently.
But that is apparently not how Cavaliers coach David Blatt sees it, as reported by Blake Ellington of Sactown Royalty (hat tip Eye on Basketball).
Love is with the Cleveland Cavaliers and not still in Minnesota because he and then Timberwolves GM David Kahn defined “max contract” a little differently. Love wanted the full five-year extension, Kahn wanted to save that extra year for his personal favorite Ricky Rubio (teams can only offer one at a time). So Kahn offered Love max money but only for four years. Love agreed to the four-year deal but used his leverage to get an opt-out after three, then he used that opt-out threat to force a trade after a couple years.
But I don’t think that’s what Blatt meant.
Love isn’t playing like a max player of late. But I don’t think that’s what Blatt meant, either.
Blatt does know that regardless of how the rest of this season plays out, Love will get a max offer when he does opt out this summer. Rumor is he may want just a one year deal so he can get a bigger max deal in 2016 when the new TV deal money kicks in, but he still will get the max.
My guess is that regardless of how the rest this season plays out, Love will re-sign for that one season in Cleveland. A max deal.
After that… Love will still be a max player. Wherever he ends up.