Kevin Love, then on an expiring contract, reportedly pledged to re-sign a five-year contract with the Cavaliers when they traded for him in 2014. After plenty of consternation – that Love might sign only a one-year deal or leave entirely – he re-signed a five-year max deal last year and called it an easy choice.
It paid off with a championship last year.
But it also left Love locked into a lower salary, because he signed before the new national TV contracts kicked in. He’s earning $22,642,350 this season. That could have been $26,540,100 if he signed a 1+1, opted out then re-signed. He’ll continue to miss out on a higher salary as his deal continues.
Does he regret missing out on a bigger payday?
“I have thought about it, of course. But I don’t regret anything,” Love said. “Everybody in my position did the same thing when you look at [LaMarcus] Aldridge, DeAndre [Jordan] and Marc Gasol. Players like that who are max players went ahead and signed [long term].”
“When it’s your time [to sign], it’s your time. You’ve got to figure it out,” Love said. “Maybe the shoulder had something to do with it, but you’ve got to think about risk adversity. How much risk do you want to take? Knowing I could be with this team, locking in for five years, it was an easy choice.”
So, there were some bigger risk-takers.
But Love obviously doesn’t have the cachet of LeBron, and Love was coming off a shoulder injury. So, I understand Love’s strategy.
And if he’s pleased with the outcome, good for him.