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Love, Cavs Agree to 4-Year, $120M Contract Extension

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Kevin Love have agreed to a contract extension.

He’s signing a long-term contract extension!

According to Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the deal is for four years and $120 million.

Love is set to make $24.1 million in the 2018-19 season before his extension kicks in. Love chose to opt out of his $25.5 million salary for the 2019-20 season to sign his new deal, per ESPN’s report, which will pay him an average of $30 million per season.

According to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, the deal does not include a no-trade clause or player option. It also comes in at less than a potential max extension Love could have signed:

Kevin Love’s extension (4 years) is at the max salary in 2019-20 and ’20-21, then no raise in ’21-22 and then decreases in ’22-23. Took about $8M less than his full max, according to sources

The Cavs just locked up Kevin Love for his Age 30-34 years at about 82% of what max money is for him right now. That’s a very interesting deal both from a potential outcome perspective, and a “what does this do to his trade value?” perspective.

“When I first came to Cleveland, I came with a long-term mindset,” Love said in a statement, per NBA.com. “I came here to win. We developed a culture here that reflects that. I’m super excited and I couldn’t be happier. It’s a big commitment for me and it’s a big commitment from the Cavaliers, so I want to thank Dan Gilbert, Koby Altman and the entire organization.

“I enjoy playing here, I’m excited about the team that we have and look forward to our future together,” he continued. “Cleveland fans have been special from day one and I’m also looking forward to continuing to be a part of this great community.”

Love, 29, averaged 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game with the Cavaliers last season, though he never quite offered the level of production as LeBron James’ running mate as he had earlier in his career with the Minnesota Timberwovles. The season before Love was traded to Cleveland for Andrew Wiggins in 2014, he averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists per contest.

Love’s averages when James didn’t play over the past four years, however, didn’t reach his previous heights:

For what it’s worth, in 19 total games playing without LeBron since 2014-15, here are Kevin Love’s averages in CLE:
31.5 MPG, 18.9 PPG on .410/.363/.818 shooting, 11.0 REB, 1.5 AST, -108 (total)
Another factor that could become interesting moving forward is the 2019 first-round pick Cleveland owes Atlanta:
The team that is really celebrating Kevin Love’s extension today isn’t the Cavs. It’s the Hawks. With CLE committed to making a playoff push next season, that 2019 top-10 protected draft pick is looking to be ATL-bound.

For Cleveland, however, the move could be the first step in a retooling process. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks wrote: “Cleveland is still projecting to have close to $70 million in cap space during the summer of 2020 to reshape the roster. Cap space for Cleveland next summer could be in the $25 million range if George Hill, Kyle Korver and JR Smith are waived next offseason. All three have partially guaranteed contracts.”

Regardless, the Cavaliers expressed excitement at keeping Love on board for an added four years.

“We are very excited to announce Kevin’s long-term commitment to the Cavaliers and Cleveland,” Cleveland general manager Koby Altman said. “This quickly became a partnership the second we began these discussions. Collaboration and winning matter greatly to Kevin and that was reflected in this extension.”

“Kevin’s talent and character are both at a very high level and he has earned his role at the center of what we want to do moving forward.”

Courtesy: Bleacher Report

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