There have been some rumors out there indicating that Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love might opt out of his contract and sign with another team this summer. These rumors really started to heat up as reports suggested Love wasn’t meshing well with two-time NBA champion LeBron James. And now that the Cavaliers have earned a Finals appearance with Love sidelined, speculation has ramped up even more.
Speaking publicly for the first time since suffering a season-ending shoulder injury earlier in the postseason, Love said he expects to be suiting up when the first game of the 2015-2016 comes calling. When asked if it will be with the Cavaliers, love responded “Yes, sir.”
Kevin Love on next season: "I truly expect to be suiting up for Game 1." For the Cavs? Love: "Yes, sir."
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 31, 2015
From a financial standpoint, this makes sense. Love is set to earn $16.7 million in 2015-2016, the final year of a four-year, $60.8 million extension he signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves back in 2012. If Love plays out that contract, he will be in line for a five-year, $153 million contract in the summer of 2016. If he opts out and signs with another team, the max deal Love can earn this summer is $86 million over four seasons.
However, it’s not all about financials here. Prior to injuring his shoulder, Love struggled meshing with fellow Cavaliers teammates, King James included. And on the court, he averaged just 16.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. With the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers slated to be big-time spenders in free agency, Love would have unlimited options on the open market.
Though, it now appears that he’s planning on returning to Cleveland. That has to be seen a positive for a Cavaliers squad that gave up a bounty to acquire the All-Star last summer.
Photo: USA Today Sports