Kevin Love Contract Extension Will Prevent the Cavaliers From Rebuilding

Kevin Love Contract Extension Will Prevent the Cavaliers From Rebuilding

NBA

Kevin Love Contract Extension Will Prevent the Cavaliers From Rebuilding

Kevin Love turns 30 in September, and could have been a free agent next summer. Instead, the former All-NBA player was lavished with a 4-year, $120 million extension from Dan Gilbert and the Cavaliers.

It’s a head-scratching deal for Cleveland with only one logical conclusion: Gilbert didn’t want his Cavs to fall into an abyss the way they did last time LeBron left. But everyone has forgotten the positives that came out of that period: The Cavs were so bad, they ended up getting lucky in the lottery and landing Kyrie Irving.

This Kevin Love contract prevents them from falling in sub-20 wins territory and getting another franchise player. Or even getting in position to get a franchise player. And that’s why I don’t like this new deal.

Can you build a contender around Love? The Timberwolves couldn’t when Love was a 20-10 player in his early 20s; he’s probably not a 20-10 guy anymore, and you wonder if his injury-history – he’s missed significant time the last two years, and three of the last six – and lack of athletic ability heading into his 30s is a red flag.

The top three teams in the East appear set – Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto – and after that, Washington, Indiana, Miami and Milwaukee are scrambling for seeds 4-7.

Which leaves one spot for the Cavs, who will have really interesting decisions to make on where to get offense from. LeBron averaged 27-9-7 (in the regular season; it was 34-9-9 in the playoffs) and was the offense. Now you’re looking at …

C Tristan Thompson
F Kevin Love
F Cedi Osman
G JR Smith
G George Hill

I don’t think Collin Sexton starts in October; by December/January, he should. The 2nd unit will feature Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance (both of whom I actually like). I have no idea how Kyle Korver fits into this team.

Even if Sexton exceeds all expectations and wins Rookie of the Year, and Love can recapture his 20-10 form and Cedi Osman plays a full season like he did two games in Summer League … is Cleveland’s ceiling 6th? If the East is beset by injuries, maybe an absolute best-case scenario of 5th?

And then you’re stuck in the middle for at least two more years, with no high draft picks.

Gulp.

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