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Kevin Love trade talk: He doesn’t want to opt in to deal, Cavs may live with that

Jul 26, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

Kevin Love Kevin Love

I’ll stick by what I have said before: If I were the Cleveland Cavaliers (or Golden State Warriors or Chicago Bulls) I would demand that Kevin Love opt-in to the last year of his contract if I am going to trade all those assets for him. It’s what Chris Paul did for the Clippers (then he used that leverage for a year to get what he wanted with the organization, such as Doc Rivers). I wouldn’t want to risk a Dwight Howard situation. Sure, the max contract the Cavs could offer, plus winning while playing with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, means Love would likely re-sign, but I would want more security.

However, the rumors are out there that Love does not want to opt in — he wants to be a free agent in 2015. He wants to hear the pitches and make his choice.

Cleveland can live with that, reports Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer.

Talking to some NBA executives, (Love opting-in) 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….

I’m hearing Love will not pick up his option — that he would prefer to go to the Cavs on his current deal, then presumably enjoy being successful playing with LeBron James. Remember, he also has done a commercial with Kyrie Irving. He sees marketing possibilities in Cleveland — along with a chance to win big.

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.

It will not happen until at least late August now (Andrew Wiggins cannot be traded until Aug. 23), it may not happen until closer to training camps opening, but it feels like a Love to Cleveland deal will get done. Other teams have lined up to jump in.

That’s a gamble by Cleveland. Yes, Love likely re-signs in Cleveland if he goes there, but there is a risk — Dwight Howard’s people made it sound like he would re-sign with the Lakers at first, then the season went sideways and so did Howard. If Love wants to be courted by other teams (like Howard, like Carmelo Anthony this summer) there is a risk he finds another pitch/location compelling.

But Cleveland is in the win-now, risk-taking mode with LeBron there. If LeBron wants Love, you go get him, whatever the costs and risks.

  1. BrownsTown - Jul 26, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    Irving already signed the five-year max. Unless there is some super secret clause of the CBA (not ruling it out) allowing two five-year max contracts on the same team for some twist of a reason, he can’t get that deal.

    • zoomy123 - Jul 26, 2014 at 7:20 PM

      You’re thinking of designated players; a team can only have 1 designated player on a team (unless they trade for someone who is also a designated player). You can have as many max contracts as you can afford or legally fit on your roster. Blake signed a max contract extension and CP3 signed a max contract as well. Blake is the Clippers’ designated player.

      • casualcommenter - Jul 26, 2014 at 10:58 PM

        Yep. The designated player rule only applies to max contracts given to players coming off their rookie deals.

        Love already got a max contract after his rookie deal, but GM David Khan gave him an early opt out. This would be his second contract after his rookie deal, so any team with his Bird Rights can give him a 5-year max deal.

  2. garypagetwo - Jul 26, 2014 at 7:11 PM

    who cares. report it once it happens . sick and tired of this website with COPY and PASTE from other sites with “SPECULATIONS”

    • ProBasketballPundit - Jul 26, 2014 at 9:00 PM

      What else are they going to talk about? Pretty boring time for NBA news.

      • bong815 - Jul 26, 2014 at 11:55 PM

        Boring NBA news is better than any soccer news.

  3. geejon - Jul 26, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    I’m really starting to dislike this guy.

    • paleihe - Jul 26, 2014 at 7:53 PM

      You know what the problem is though? It’s not this guy, it’s these articles written every day, because of “sources”. The player has nothing to do with it.

      There were a couple articles posted recently about KS going to Washington. It’s not the guy we can’t stand, it’s the ridiculous amount of articles about the same topic, in which literally nothing has developed. Merely more speculation.

      • iammr713 - Jul 26, 2014 at 8:01 PM

        I totally agree with you.. Blame the media, writers & sources, not Love. Lakers fan here talkin!

    • apkyletexas - Jul 26, 2014 at 11:34 PM

      Love is really going to enjoy watching the Cavs get destroyed by the Western champs in the finals. Should be some high motivation to keep playing with LeBron.

    • bbk1000 - Jul 27, 2014 at 9:25 AM

      It’s not just him, it’s all these stars. It appears to be limited to the NBA as well.

      They are just a bunch of whining, self serving, spoiled brats.

      He wants to hear how great he is, how much he is loved, being shuttled from city to city. Their whole lives they’ve been spoiled yet now they want more as adults.

      LeBron, Carmelo, Love, all of them. What’s funny is LeBron and Carmelo weren’t going anywhere except where they ended up. These team executives looked like a bunch of fools with their silly pitches, drooling over these clowns.

      One serious knee injury might stop all the nonsense, not that I’m hoping for that….

  4. antistratfordian - Jul 26, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    Love saw how Bosh got paid playing next to LeBron i.e. you can underwhelm, have LeBron carry you for 4 years, and still come out of the other side with a max contract. Sweet gig.

    • iammr713 - Jul 26, 2014 at 8:07 PM

      You really don’t believe what you just said right? (I’m no LeBron fan) but Love saw LBJ take a team to 4 straight finals, winning 2 of them & getting 2 MVP awards in that 4 year span. That’s what he saw & that’s why he wants to go to Cleveland.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 26, 2014 at 8:17 PM

        Yeah I just said that. LeBron can carry you to the finals – so you’ll get that experience obviously – and on top of that you can play below your standards and still end up commanding top dollar because of all the exposure.

      • kinggw - Jul 26, 2014 at 9:19 PM

        That might make sense if Bosh wasn’t a near max player before this offseason.

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 26, 2014 at 8:45 PM

      Anti

      how Bosh got paid playing next to Lebron you say?

      During the 4 yrs Lebron played with Miami, Bosh made the EXACT SAME salary each of the 4 seasons as the King did.

      if it’s good enough for the King…

      • cnyle01 - Jul 26, 2014 at 9:13 PM

        totally missing the point here, Bosh JUST signed a BIGGER deal……thanks to LBJ

      • antistratfordian - Jul 26, 2014 at 9:25 PM

        That was based on a younger Bosh who still had potential to be something max special. But his new salary is even higher than that and it followed 4 years of criticism, ridicule and, frankly, underachievement. But you play with LeBron, you get loads of exposure winning at the highest level, and this guarantees that there will be people out there advocating the good, though unheralded (and almost unnoticeable), aspects of your game, and talk about those abilities as being championship caliber, and worthy of commanding top dollar.

        In other words, LeBron is the rising tide that lifts all boats.

      • sdlakerfan - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:08 AM

        @anti – weren’t you one of the people advocating Bosh deserves to command top dollar with Houston when you posted:

        ‘You’re paying for a 6’11.5″ All-Star that has a sweep jumper, shoots over 50 percent and can hit threes. How many guys like that are in the league right now?

        One.

        Bosh.”

        http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/07/09/rockets-cant-keep-dwight-howard-james-harden-and-chandler-parsons-and-give-chris-bosh-max-contract/#comments

        Now Bosh underwhelmed and under achieved and only got paid because he played with Lebron? Smh…make up your mind.

      • rohlo - Jul 27, 2014 at 6:02 AM

        bosh just got a deal becasue mimai was desperate!! he was a last option until they new what lebron was gonna do..bosh isnt worth what he got and miami didnt wanna lose everythign so they overpaid him.

  5. haaaaasoooooo - Jul 26, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    If he doesn’t resign, can’t Cleveland just chase another big name again????

    • scorp16 - Jul 26, 2014 at 8:07 PM

      Sure. But if he doesn’t re-sign it’s because the Cave didn’t win. That being the case, You now have the Cleveland Cavaliers of 2009.

    • iammr713 - Jul 26, 2014 at 8:11 PM

      No.. They won’t have the $$$.. If they had the $$$ they would just hope Love stay in Minny this last year, keep Wiggins, Bennett & their draft picks & sign Love next summer.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 26, 2014 at 8:49 PM

        here is the cavs salaries, commitments etc…

        http://hoopshype.com/salaries/cleveland.htm

        just type hoopshype and then any team’s name in and salaries and you got the info

        Google “hoopshype cavs salaries”

  6. primenumber19 - Jul 26, 2014 at 7:49 PM

    Carlos boozer anyone?

  7. csbanter - Jul 26, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    The Cavs are about to be taken to the cleaners, go ahead and trade Wiggins. Next summer when Lebron throws him under the bus for the Cavs not winning NBA title or east, Love will be clamoring for California, Lakers, Clipper, Warriors. He will leave cleveland and lebron will be stuck on a 50 win team not good enough to beat the Bulls, Pacers, Wizards, etc. Did someone say the King is about to come full circle in this scenario ?

    • ProBasketballPundit - Jul 26, 2014 at 11:20 PM

      Are you implying that LeBron throws his teammates under the bus? I don’t recall him tweeting anything about Jamario Moon starting games next to him in Cleveland.

  8. rrhoe - Jul 26, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    I may be in the minority here but CLE is willing to give up alot and for him not to opt in is a deal breaker(in my opinion) and here’s why,”He wants to hear the pitches and make his choice”,i.e.(he wants the Dwight Howard treatment too). The least he can do is opt in and give them two years,I am getting the impression KL will say whatever he needs to say to get out of MIN but him not opting in is a “big” risk,not saying that he would leave CLE,but anything can happen. CLE will have some growing pains and suppose the season doesn’t go as everybody thinks it will go,he decides he doesn’t really care to be in CLE after all and he bolts,they would not only lose him but probably LeBron as well due to the team giving up so much……..

  9. wordyduke - Jul 26, 2014 at 8:45 PM

    For a one-year guarantee, please, Cavs, do not give up more than one year’s worth of value.

    Wiggins may not become a 10-year All-Star, but he’s worth more than one year.

  10. robigd - Jul 26, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    Has Kevin Love ever played in a playoff series?

  11. tv63 - Jul 26, 2014 at 9:02 PM

    Screw this. Cavs stay with who you have. Let Love stay in Minnesota and muddle through. Still an incredible future with the young bloods in Cleveland!! You can’t give up your 1st round pick for a 1 year rental.

  12. realfootballfan - Jul 26, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    I bet if he got traded to LA or Golden State, he’d opt in in a heartbeat. Read the signs Cav fans so you don’t end up like the Lakers with the Dwight Howard debacle.

    • dj3garrett - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:27 AM

      Why would he opt in when he could opt out, become a free agent sooner, sign fore more money, and have a long guaranteed contract? Doesn’t matter where he’s traded… You and the 27 guys who liked your comment need to think… By opting out he’ll make 20 million after this season instead of 15 and if he gets hit let it wouldn’t matter because he’ll already have signed a 5 year deal… I hope he gets traded to one of the mentioned teams just so you could see him opt out of his final year… Doesn’t mean he’s leaving, just insuring more money and years…

      • j0esixpack - Jul 27, 2014 at 11:52 AM

        Agreed. Barring injury (something he’s taking a risk on – though that benefits the Cavs too) he would very likely re-sign since he’d be getting the most amount of money to stay in Cleveland regardless of the outcome of the upcoming season.

        From his standpoint there’s no reason he’d want to opt in – sure the team might be able to add another cog with the immediate cost savings, but between Love and LBJ they’d have all the ammunition they likely need

  13. seasickcecil - Jul 26, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    If this is true then enjoy Minnesota next year Kevin.

  14. bigmeechy74 - Jul 26, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    no

  15. rohlo - Jul 27, 2014 at 6:06 AM

    lebron is never winning a title in cleveland…the city is jinxed!! any team that comes out of the east is getting beat by a west team..rememebr when lebron went to miami he was joining d wade who already led a team to the title..irving is good but never won anything,wiggins might be good and bennett is a bust who only does good in summer league!

  16. elcaminobilly - Jul 27, 2014 at 8:41 AM

    The Cavs would be idiots to trade Wiggins for Love. If he wants to go there so bad, just wait until he’s a free agent next year. That way you don’t give up one of the best talents to be drafted in years, supposedly since LeBron, for a guy you could get the next season anyway.

  17. robigd - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    How could this guy not even lead his team to an 8th seed in the West? That is unfathomable.

  18. spg3081 - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    Edit to my comment: They definitely need to trade for Love, not “likely need to trade.” I started the comment intending to “guesstimate” the numbers; saying “likely” gave me an out in case I was wrong. In the end, I decided to quit being lazy & get the cap figures from ShamSports

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