Kevin Love may not opt in, Cavs may not care

kevin love cavs

While many continue to debate the merits of players involved in a deal for Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love, the great unknown continues to be how long Love would call Cleveland home. There are rumors that he’s demanding a trade to Cleveland and wants to play alongside LeBron James; Cleveland would be the only place he would commit to in the way of a long-term deal, starting with an opt-in for 2015-16. But The Plain Dealer’s Terry Pluto says not so fast:

Love is guaranteed $15.7 million this season, with a player option for $16.7 million in 2015-16. I wrote a column insisting the Cavs should demand Love pick up his option before making a deal. Talking to some NBA executives, that could be a problem. One executive explained how the best move for Love may be to come to the Cavs on the current deal — no changes. He becomes a free agent in 2015, then signs a five-year deal for the maximum (could be more than $100 million) to stay here. …

If Love picks up his option for 2015-16 this summer, the most that a team can immediately add is a two-year extension. I’m hearing Love will not pick up his option… I’m hearing the Cavs realize they may have to accept Love’s current deal and gamble on him enjoying playing in Cleveland and with James. Then they will try to sign him for a maximum deal in 2015. So don’t be shocked if a deal is made with his contract situation staying the same.

There has been plenty of Twitter angst surrounding this aspect of the deal. On one side is a group saying that you can’t gamble with a No. 1 pick in Andrew Wiggins if you’re only going to get one year out of Kevin Love. On the other side are those saying that Cleveland team’s have gone decades without swinging for the fences and have wound up empty-handed. The Collective Bargaining Agreement certainly only muddies the waters even more.

Do the Cavs trust Love? Does Love love Cleveland? Stay tuned. We’re about to find out, one way or the other.

(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

  • dwhit110

    So who’s in your top 5 shammy?

  • wildrover4

    Bennett and TT is all I would offer at this point. That is a one-year rental price. Waiters and Wiggins should be off the table if Love won’t opt in and at least guarantee the Cavs two years.

  • mgbode

    Kevin Love? If his career ends midway through this season

    well, I guess that depends on how much you believe Kevin Love is a top5, top10 player in the NBA. if he is, then the odds are that one injury isn’t going to end his career or put too big of a damper on a future contract (obviously, a freak injury cannot be ruled out). an ACL heals in a year, et cetera and teams are willing to gamble on a potentially top10 player.

    I mean, Brandon Roy is still getting payed $14mil next year back from his 2009 contract (and that was after he already had knee issues).

    Eric Gordon got a 4yr/$58mil contract despite his littany of injuries.

    Neither of those players is/was on the same level as Kevin Love.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    I totally follow your logic, but I would think more players would approach contracts as if it were the last contract anyone would ever offer them….get the most money available right now.

    Pro athletes can’t look to the future and assume they’ll be able to overcome their next injury. That’s the whole point. It’s unpredictable and they have no control over the actions of other players. For that matter…they don’t have control over physical harm that can occur in life. Car crash, etc.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    For the here and now: LBJ, Durant, Paul, Harden and Curry. No love for the big man but they start adding up around 9-10.

  • Steve

    LA’s screw up was not in acquiring Howard, but in how he was interacted with once there.

    As teammates go, Lebron > Kobe, by the moon and stars. And the difference is that Love seems to just want to play on a contender, not be given free reign to goof off like Howard wanted.

  • Steve

    At this point, I don’t see how the S&T isn’t a good option (hat tip to mgbode). Promise Wiggins next summer. It’s a better return than the Wolves can get anywhere else, and the Cavs get a long-term deal with Love.

  • Steve

    “New SportVU player-tracking data on NBA.com showed that last season opponents shot 57.4 percent when Love was within five feet of attempts near the rim, the league’s fourth-worst rate among players who defended at least five rim attempts per game.”

  • Steve

    Unless Rose is back to pre-injury form, who is going to keep the Cavs out of the Finals?

  • ResignCorona

    love is not howard (clown) and i’m pretty sure love would re-sign w/ the cavs and play alongside w/ lebron in search for a ring.

  • dwhit110

    That’s fair. I probably go A. Davis instead of Curry just because of defense, but it’s really close.

  • Loopholes on Life

    good stuff jeremysexton & dwhit110 for one of the more intelligent sports debates I’ve come across in a minute… granted, it was a low bar to clear lol

  • Loopholes on Life

    Well said sir, well said.

  • Loopholes on Life

    EXACTLY. I’ve been thinking the exact same thing. It does not behoove any player or organization to feel “hamstrung” into making a deal. It looks bad for Minny, the Cavs, Love, Lebron, the NBA as a whole….

    Slowly, but SURELY, ‘nudging’ the organization to catch the drift is the prudent move.

    Granted, until like last week Flip Saunders still had hope that playing a winning season with Love would get him to stay —- THAT is why this trade is taking a long time.

    Flip has a 2 week delay processing reality.

  • thenoclist

    well if you’re pretty sure he’ll re-sign then let’s do it already

  • mgbode

    Always thought elite pro athletes need to think of themselves as invincible but it likely is case by case

  • jeremysexton

    And civil too! I think this comment section wins the internet for today.

  • jamespowell

    I wouldn’t even offer that. For one year? Let him go where he wants to go.

  • Oswald Cobblepott

    Wiggins is worth more over the long term. LeBron doesn’t need another finesse big he needs Ben Wallace or rodman types. T