REPORT: Kevin Love sacrificed $101M by committing to the Cavs this summer
Kevin Love hit pay dirt this week, when he signed a massive four-year extension worth $120 million with the Cleveland Cavaliers. That contract will not kick in until after the end of the 2018-19 season, the final year of the original five-year deal he signed in 2015 (Love waived the 2019-20 player option part of that deal to give way to the extension).
Love, however, could have earned more than the $120 million he agreed to be paid with over the next several seasons. According to Albert Nahmad of Heat Hoops, the Cavs committed less money to Love than the maximum amount the power forward is eligible of receiving through an extension. Ahmad also noted that Love’s new deal is over $100 million cheaper than the most expensive offer he can get as a free agent next year.
Kevin Love’s 4-year, $120M extension, stating in 2019-20, is $9.7M less than his 4-year, $129.7M max extension (and way less than 5-year, $221M max contract he could’ve theoretically received as a free agent next summer). He can’t be traded for six months.https://t.co/ryWZnT8bk4
— Albert Nahmad (@AlbertNahmad) July 24, 2018
It looks as though Love sacrificed a relatively tiny fraction of his maximum extension deal in order for the Cavs to have some more budget for other players. With LeBron James gone in Cleveland, the franchise needs to plan on how to keep the team competitive, and part of that is to acquire better talents to surround Love in the near future.
Had Love declined an extension with the Cavs and decided to become a free agent next year by not picking up his 2019-20 player option, it’s unlikely for him to net that maximum $221 million contract Ahmad was talking about. Love will be 31 when the 2019-20 season kicks in, and aside from his age, teams will be concerned about how long his body can hold up. Love has battled numerous injuries over the past few seasons and has not played more than 60 games in each of the last two.
In any case, Love seems happy with where he is right now.