The Cleveland Cavaliers are making sure the lone remaining 2018 NBA All-Star on their team doesn't go anywhere anytime soon.
The team officially announced the move on Tuesday afternoon as Love signed the contract at Quicken Loans Arena in front of Cavs front-office officials and construction crews working on renovating the arena.
“We are very excited to announce Kevin’s long-term commitment to the Cavaliers and Cleveland. This quickly became a partnership the second we began these discussions. Collaboration and winning matter greatly to Kevin and that was reflected in this extension,” Cavs GM Koby Altman said. “Kevin’s talent and character are both at a very high level and he has earned his role at the center of what we want to do moving forward. As a five-time All-Star and NBA Champion, Kevin has a special understanding of exactly what success and winning require.”
“When I first came to Cleveland, I came with a long-term mindset,” Love said. “I came here to win. We developed a culture here that reflects that. I’m super excited and I couldn’t be happier. It’s a big commitment for me and it’s a big commitment from the Cavaliers, so I want to thank Dan Gilbert, Koby Altman and the entire organization. I enjoy playing here, I’m excited about the team that we have and look forward to our future together. Cleveland fans have been special from day one and I’m also looking forward to continuing to be a part of this great community.”
Wojnarowski reports Love opted out of the 2019-20 season on his current deal and will earn $24.1 million next season before this new extension kicks in.
Love turns 30 in September and had one season and a player option for 2019-20 on his current deal. He averaged 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game for the Cavs last season and was an All-Star for the second straight season as well. He missed that game, however, because of a broken bone in his hand.
He has been mentioned in trade speculation since arriving in Cleveland, but the 6-foot-10 big man with a guard's shooting range now becomes the centerpiece of the franchise. The Cavs originally acquired Love in 2014 in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Aug. 23, 2014 for Andrew Wiggins -- whom Cleveland took with the No. 1 overall Draft pick that year.
The Cavaliers watched LeBron James depart the franchise in free agency this summer to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Cavs have been in four consecutive NBA Finals, but were swept in 2018 by the rival Golden State Warriors. Wojnarowski reports that in the aftermath of that transaction, the Cavs aggressively pushed to secure Love to a long-term deal. Altman and team owner Dan Gilbert have been determined to keep the Cavs in the Eastern Conference playoff mix, and doing so would require keeping Love in the fold long term.
Secure the 💼!!! Congrats brother @kevinlove. Nobu Malibu or Wally’s on you!!! 🤷🏾♂️ 💰 💰 💰 💰 💰— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 24, 2018
Love appeared in 59 games for Cleveland last season, shooting .415 from beyond the arc and a career-high .880 from the foul line. Love was one of just four NBA players -- Karl-Anthony Towns, Nikola Jokic and DeMarcus Cousins were the others -- to make at least 100 3-pointers while averaging at least nine rebounds in 2017-18.
Over the last four seasons, Love has played in 271 games and averaged a double-double (17.1 ppg, 10 rpg) during that span. Since the 2014-15 season, he leads the team in total rebounds (2,705), double-doubles (145) and 3-pointers (584). In Cavaliers history, Love already ranks fourth in 3-pointers made, 10th in defensive rebounds (2,165) and 12th in total rebounds. He has also helped the Cavs reach the postseason in all four years, including their run to the NBA title in 2016.
Last season, Love revealed he has battled anxiety throughout his life.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.