Remember back in May and June — while the Cavaliers were still trying to battle through the playoffs without him — rumors were swirling that Kevin Love was unhappy and going to bolt from Cleveland and LeBron James.
He didn’t. Nor did he opt-in for a one-year deal where he could try to cash in on the flood of TV money entering the system next summer. He took a five-year max deal under the current cap (it’s worth $110 million, and he can opt out after four), and told Fox Sports Ohio it wasn’t a hard call.
“It’s always what I had in mind,” said Love about re-signing. “In order to be happy, win and also make money doing what I love, it all came to place and always made sense to be here….
“It made it a pretty easy choice.”
Love was never likely to leave — he wanted to get paid and Cleveland could offer more than any other team, plus if he bolted after one season he’d look like he cared far more about his personal stats than a chance to win. That’s bad for the Kevin Love brand. The good news is by signing the deal under the current salary cap, as it spikes over the next two seasons that deal becomes very movable should either side be unhappy.
Things are going to be different for Love this season, and we’re not just talking about that new hairstyle (under/over on him changing it is Christmas). With Irving out to start the season, he is going to get more touches, and likely in his preferred spots on the floor. How long that lasts after Irving returns is one of the questions the Cavs need to answer this season.