Kevin Love signs four-year, $120 million extension to stay with Cavs
After LeBron James decided to head west and join the Los Angeles Lakers, observers around the NBA wondered whether the next move on the docket for the Cleveland Cavaliers would be to explore the trade market for Kevin Love, shopping the All-Star power forward around the league in pursuit of a deal for young talent and/or draft picks that could help kickstart the rebuild that seemed certain to follow James’ exit. Rather than putting Love right on the block, though, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and general manager Koby Altman decided to lock Love up for the long term … even if it doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll be in Cleveland for the long term.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst reported Tuesday that Love has signed a new four-year, $120 million contract extension to anchor the post-LeBron Cavaliers. The new agreement will tear up the player option Love held for the 2019-20 season under his previous contract, which would have allowed him to enter unrestricted free agency next summer, in favor of a pact totaling $145 million that will keep Love under Cleveland’s control through the end of the 2022-23 season.
Love will play out the final year of the last deal he signed with the Cavs, which will pay him just over $24.1 million next season, before the extension kicks in for the 2019-20 season. According to Windhorst, Love got max money up front, but gave a little something back on the back end:
The deal locks in a lucrative payday and some stability for Love, who turns 30 in September and has missed 45 games due to injury over the past two years. It also takes one marquee name off the board for next summer’s potential free agent bonanza, and ensures that — unlike the last time that James left Cleveland in free agency — the Cavs will have one All-Star-caliber option on the roster to act as a focal point, and will retain the possibility of remaining competitive next season and beyond.