Kevin Love, Cavs

Kevin Love’s only question in extension talks was whether Cavs were going to tank

As Kevin Love was negotiating his contract extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers over the summer, he was only interested in knowing which direction general manager Koby Altman and owner Dan Gilbert were heading in.

After LeBron James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency, many thought the Cavs would enter a rebuild phase and tank. Love wanted to make sure that wasn’t the case and that he was going to be part of a competitive team.

“The only thing I didn’t want was I didn’t want to be a team that was going to tank or be not competitive,” Love said, via Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “I’ve been a part of that for a couple of years (in Minnesota) and then we started to build something. I wanted this to be a building year and still be competitive. That was my only holdup about the whole thing. They had told me they didn’t want to take a huge step back.

“It got done relatively fast. I don’t know the number of days, but between my agent, Koby and Dan and me just having constant conversations with my agent, it didn’t seem to be that long.”

The Cavs signed Kevin Love to a four-year, $120 million extension, meaning the organization will now pay the All-Star power forward roughly $145 million over the next five seasons. Love averaged 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game during the regular season last year, shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from the 3-point line. In 21 postseason games, Love posted 14.9 points and 10.2 rebounds, hitting 39.2 percent of his shots overall and 34.0 percent from beyond the arc. The Cavs got swept by the Golden State Warriors in the 2018 NBA Finals.

Love will now be the No. 1 offensive option in Cleveland now. He’s probably going to put up similar numbers to what he averaged when he was with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Cavs rookie point guard Collin Sexton, who has shown to be a good slasher, will help Love get open looks from the perimeter when he collapses the defense on his drives to the basket.

Most experts don’t think Love and the Cavs can make the playoffs in the East. It’s going to be interesting to see if the team can rally around each other and prove the critics wrong. For that to happen, Kevin Love is going to have to be a beast on offense.

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