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Kevin Love Needed Guarantee That Cavs Weren’t Going to Tank Before Signing Extension
- Updated: October 6, 2018
Back in July, Love signed a four-year, $120 million extension with the Cavs that ensured his continued commitment to the organization.
Love wanted to stay with the franchise and the Cavs wanted him back. But things were not as simple as one may have thought them to be.
Love described his mindset and expectations that eventually influenced his decision to re-sign.
“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, recalling those conversations on Friday. “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.”
The loss of superstar LeBron James was certainly a significant blow to the franchise, but Love re-emphasized his desire for the Cavs to remain a competitive team in the NBA:
“I mean, obviously losing LeBron you know what is going to happen with that, but I wanted to be part of something where we could continue to strive for all these banners up here and build something for the next several years.”
Love wanted to make these points very clear to the Cavaliers front office. He spoke to the organization, and general manager Koby Altman and owner Dan Gilbert gave him their assurance. Once this happened, Love said said the process of negotiating and signing the contract was quite simple and fast.
“It got done relatively fast,” Love said of the negotiations. “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.”
It is quite simple to see why the Cavs brought back Love. They were an organization with a winning culture. They drafted a promising young player in Collin Sexton and had budding stars such as Cedi Osman.
So the Cavs wanted to bring Love, a proven star capable of winning, back and continue this already-established culture. Plus, his commitment to the city of Cleveland was something ownership and management valued tremendously.
Having been with the Cavaliers for four years, Love should find this year his best one yet with the organization, as he will assume a larger leadership role and will be the the centerpiece of the team’s offense. No team has ever made the playoffs in its first year without James, and Love seems to be ready to change that narrative.
“I’m in my 11th year right now and I’ve seen most things, done most things so I feel like I can take that knowledge I have from playing in this league a long time and some of the veterans that we have that were so big in 2016 and take some of the young guys and bring them along.
“It’s a new chapter for us and a breath of fresh air. We’re on the right track so far.”