A lot has been made of what could be Kevin Love’s next career move after LeBron James left Cleveland to join the Los Angeles Lakers. Well today we got closure on that topic, as the five-time NBA all-star signed a four-year, $120 million extension to stay in Cleveland. With him still having a year left on his deal Love will be tied to Cleveland for the next five seasons.
Even though Love isn’t quite the player that he was in his earlier NBA days in Minnesota, he is still a productive NBA player, despite the criticism he has received since being traded to Cleveland before the 2014-15 season.
He’s taken about 300 more threes in four years with Cleveland than he did in his six years in Minnesota, and a big reason for that was playing with LeBron James. James obviously has the ball in his hands a lot, which caused Love to be much more of a spot-up shooter on the offensive end, even though shooting threes has pretty much always been part of his game to an extent.
With LeBron not on the team anymore Cleveland is likely going to start running a ton of the offense through Love and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him average more than the 17.1 points per game he’s averaged in a Cavaliers uniform in his four seasons with the team.
While still being an effective offensive player, who should see an increase in his production, Love is still one of the better rebounders in the league and with him still not even being 30-years old there’s no reason that shouldn’t continue.
For Cleveland this is huge, because last time LeBron left they completely went in the tank. By holding onto Kevin Love and being able to lock him up long-term they still have a guy that they can use as the real face of the franchise that is an established veteran. They clearly won’t be a title contender next season, but they shouldn’t go completely in the tank like they did when LeBron left for Miami.
Overall it’ll be interesting to see how Love is used with LeBron gone. My guess is they’ll use him more how he was in used in Minnesota, which means the offense will be going through him a lot more and he’ll get to post up more and while he’s a good three-point shooter, he’s at his best when he gets to post up and use some of his post moves to try and get to the basket.