Kevin Love is a maximum contract player.
He's currently playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers under the four-year max deal former Wolves general manager David Kahn gave him. Love wanted the bigger, five-year max deal but settled for the four-year agreement with an early opt-out clause, which forced the Wolves to trade him to Cleveland for Andrew Wiggins before the start of the season. Failing to trade Love could have resulted in him leaving without any compensation coming back to the Wolves.
But the weird part about a story at Pro Basketball Talk is the way Cavaliers head coach David Blatt responded after a reporter referred to Love and Kyrie Irving as max players. Irving, for the record, signed a five-year max deal during the offseason.
Blatt's quick response could've meant one of two things.
- He doesn't think Love deserves a max deal
- He's aware that Love is a max player, but only on the lesser four-year deal
Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin doesn't think Blatt was trying to offend Love by criticizing his level of stardom.
But there doesn't seem to be a lot of harmony between Love and Cleveland. In late December, some fans started a petition demanding Love get out of town, which could very well happen.
The Akron Beacon-Journal reports that Love will likely opt out of the final year of his deal this summer before possibly signing a one-year contract in order to take advantage of a potentially large salary cap increase in 2016 – at which point he could get a massive five-year max deal.
But which team will Love sign with? It remains a big question in Cleveland.
Love is averaging 17.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game this season. He returns to Minnesota for the first time on Jan. 31.
The Wolves have lost 15 consecutive games and if they don't win between now and Love's visit the streak will reach 25 games. WCCO notes that the NBA record-long losing streak is 26 games, set by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2013.