If words said in May or early June mean anything, Kevin Love is going to stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers and not opt out of the one year remaining on his deal, noting he feels very much at home with the team he can’t help because of a season ending injury.
Love seems happy where he is, at least according to his latest interview. He also said he isn’t angry with Kelly Olynyk anymore, despite it being quite clear that the shoulder dislocation was done on purpose, and wasn’t just a part of the game scuffle. Love still doesn’t want to play for the Celtics, at least not yet.
What are Love’s options, in general? Staying with the Cavaliers for $16 million and change, which in my opinion is the best option. He might not be the team leader or even the second scoring option, but he seemed to buy into the different role and even did better in it during the playoffs. It might also provide him with the best option of winning a title considering the other offers he might be getting.
There’s also Love going for the max salary, which won’t be that high on a long term contract because he’s not a 10-year veteran yet. A 2008 draft pick, it would be a big boost to his ego (which is fragile as we’ve learned from his days in Minnesota) if someone signed him to be their marquee franchise player, but is playing for the Lakers, Knicks or Celtics good for the team or him? Does Love want to be the number one guy, or playing on the best team possible, even if it means less points and a little bit less money?
And there’s the third option of still opting out but taking only a one year deal. Why? Because in 2016, the Salary cap will rise to about $89 million unless the league and players union which should be a lot more aggressive the next time we’ll be headed to a strike, and signing a long term deal for someone like Love doesn’t make sense before the 2016 offseason. But if he’ll sign a one year deal, wouldn’t it be better to remain with the Cavaliers? The money won’t be different, and it’s only about the number of points he’ll score.