As the Cavaliers move on from LeBron James, they’ll have Kevin Love at the center of their rebuild.
As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst, Love has agreed to a four-year, $120 million extension with the Cavs.
ESPN reporting with @WindhorstESPN: Cavaliers forward Kevin Love has signed a four-year, $120 million contract extension --- topping out his overall deal at five-years, $145 million, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 24, 2018
Per ESPN, as part of the extension, Love opted out of the 2019-20 season on his current contract. He will make $24.1 million this season and his overall commitment to the Cavs is for five years and just under $145 million. Love, as seen in a video posted by the Cavs, has already signed the extension.
Love, who turns 30 in September, has been with the Cavs since 2014, when Cleveland traded for him to team up with LeBron He is the last remaining member of the team’s big three of himself, LeBron and Kyrie Irving.
For the Cavs, this gives them a face of the franchise post LeBron. It also gives them someone who could back to being the player he was with the Timberwolves as a center of the offense. At the very least, Love’s presence will allow Cleveland to bring along Collin Sexton with the type of support he’ll need as he adjusts to the NBA.
It’s also interesting to see the Cavs take this path in their rebuild. They could have flipped Love for whatever the market was willing to pay for him and try to bottom out. Instead, keeping Love is a signal that Cleveland is going to try and balance being in the “player development business” with Sexton, Cedi Osman and others and winning some games. This extension is a clear indication that the Cavs will not take the 76ers’ path of tanking and are more in line with what the Jazz did when they lost Gordon Hayward last summer.
Per cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon, there is no player option and no no-trade clause in the contract.
The Cavs could still struggle next season and certainly will be worse without LeBron around. But now they still have an All-Star to build around, something they did not have last time LeBron left.