Kevin Love surprised the Twitter GMs and signed a 4 year, $120 million extension to stay in Cleveland. The full value of the deal will wash out to 5 years and about $145 million, around $10 million below his max for an extension. This clearly signals that Dan Gilbert and the Cavaliers want to remain competitive in the wake of LeBron James’ exodus.
The initial reaction across the NBA landscape was that Cleveland would look to tear the roster down to the studs and start over. The Cavs owe their 2019 first round pick to Atlanta if it falls outside of the top 10, so trading Kevin Love would’ve not only helped clear their books, but also almost guaranteed that they keep their pick. Bringing him back into the fold makes that much more precarious. The roster now contains a mixed bag of inconsistent youth and holdovers from the most recent LeBron era that won’t take kindly to a middling team not in the championship conversation. The Cavs seem to be split between two paths.
But that’s not forever. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, “Cleveland is still projecting to have close to $70M in cap space during the summer of 2020 to reshape the roster.” The Cavs can get off of George Hill, JR Smith and Kyle Korver for less than $10 million after this season. That leaves only Tristan Thompson and Jordan Clarkson as expiring contracts in the following season to free the Cavs of all their (current) bad money. Cleveland is never going to be a free agent destination without LeBron, but keeping Kevin Love makes them a much more attractive option for free agents, and they’ll have plenty of money to play with.
If that doesn’t pan out, Cleveland can still trade Love in the future. This extension makes him a cost-controlled asset, giving other teams more certainty. Yes, it’s more years and more money but Kevin Love is still an All-Star. Making him the focal point of the offense should allow him to put up big numbers and recoup some of the market value he’s lost while playing a diminished role alongside LeBron. In the coming years, all the ghastly cap-spike deals will be coming off teams’ books, opening lots of cap space around the league. There are only so many stars available and some teams will inevitably strike out. Combine that with some pressure from ownership to win now and Kevin Love can be a very desirable option.
Even with the extension the Cavs are far from a playoff lock. Their second best player may very well be a rookie. So perhaps an injury or a few strategically placed DNPs could allow them to keep their pick. Either way, Love wanted to stay in Cleveland. That’s a nice change for a city that doesn’t have a lot of experience with that. The goalposts for success have changed, but after years of watching this team trudge through the doldrums of the regular season, this young, talented team could be a lot of fun for fans to watch night in and night out.
Follow David on Twitter @dmcgowan24
Cavaliers’ Announcer Fred McLeod Dies at 67
Cleveland Cavaliers announcer Fred McLeod passed away on Monday night at the age of 67, according to a team announcement.
Per the announcement, McLeod passed away suddenly on Monday night, but no further details were given.
McLeod, who is Cleveland native, has been the team’s TV play-by-play announcer since 2006, and the Cavs called him a “great friend and teammate” and a “heart-felt ambassador.”
Prior to joining the Cavaliers organization, McLeod was the Detroit Pistons announcer for 22 seasons, also calling games for the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Lions.
“It is with true sadness that we mourn the passing of Fred McLeod, who we were fortunate to have return as the television voice of Lions preseason football earlier this year,” the Lions said via and official statement. “Fred brought an energy to our broadcasts this summer and demonstrated the same passion for our team that he had for Detroit throughout his broadcasting career.
“The entire Detroit Lions organization extends its heartfelt sympathies and condolences to his wife, Beth, his family and members of the TV broadcast community he helped mentor for more than four decades.”
Cavs Hiring Lindsay Gottlieb As Assistant Coach
The Cleveland Cavaliers are hiring University of California-Berkeley women’s coach Lindsay Gottlieb to join head coach John Beilein’s staff as an assistant coach, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Gottlieb, 41, is a decorated head coach, a Final Four and seven-time NCAA tournament head coach during her time with the Golden Bears, posting a 179-78 (.668) record while coaching several eventual WNBA players.
During her time at the helm of the Golden Bears, Gottlieb has led teams that advanced to seven NCAA tournaments in her eight seasons at Cal, including a trip to the 2013 Final Four.
Gottlieb’s hiring is historically significant, as she becomes the first women’s collegiate head coach recruited to an NBA staff in league history.
Gottlieb is expected to ink a 4-year pact with the Cavaliers, and will play a prominent role alongside Beilein and assistant head coach JB Bickerstaff.
Cavs’ Dan Gilbert Hospitalized After Experiencing Stroke Symptoms
Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Giblert was hospitalized on Sunday after he suffered symptoms associated with a stroke, according to the Detroit News’ Nolan Finley and Kim Kozlowski.
Gilbert, 57, was admitted to Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak in suburban Detroit.
Gilbert also a founder of Quick Loans, which released the following statement: “Early this morning, Dan Gilbert sought care at a local hospital after experiencing stroke-like symptoms,” Quicken Loans said in the statement. “He received immediate medical attention and is currently recovering comfortably. Our collective thoughts and prayers are with Dan for a speedy recovery. The Gilbert family respectfully requests privacy at this time.”
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