Fresh of losing the 2014-15 NBA Finals, which was mainly attributed to the loss of Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving to injuries during the NBA betting playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers could be adding another loss to their increasingly growing list of heartbreaks, as Love has decided to opt out of his deal with Cleveland for 2015-16, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. Love had a player option for next season with the Cavs worth $16.7 million, but by opting out, he will now be a free agent, starting on July 1st, eligible to sign a deal that would start at $18.9 million next season. Towards the end of the season through to the start of the NBA offseason, Love had constantly expressed his desire to stay with the Cavs next season. Most recently, the forward reportedly said, “I truly haven’t even thought about it but as I mentioned, I expect to be suiting up for Game 1″ of the 2015-16 season, said Love at the end of May.
The announcement to opt out of his contract with Cleveland is therefore a big surprise, as many expected him to continue his stay in the Wine and Gold Capital. Of course, there were reports about Love’s not-so-good relationship with LeBron James and a few teammates in the course of the 2014-15 regular season, but such concerns had been swept under the carpet, as the forward improved on his performances in the team.
In fact, at the end of the regular season, only James’ numbers were generally above Love, who had a solid season. In summary, this is how Love faired during the 2014-15 regular season:
• Love was the team leader in defensive rebounding at 7.9 RPG
• Love was the team leader in total rebounds at 9.7 RPG
• Love finished third in scoring at Cleveland with 16.4 PPG
• Love was finished third in win shares at 8.7
• Love was impressive at scoring with his back to the basket (0.98), in transition (1.16) and was stellar in spotting up an opponent (1.12 points per play)
The 26-year old (turning 27 in September) didn’t lose a step going into the playoffs, as he made his playoff debut by averaging 18.3 PPG and 9 RPG in the first three contests of Round 1, before he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury.
With such impressive numbers, and a proven reputation for being an impact player, you can be sure that the 5th overall first round pick in 2008 will be courting many suitors when the free agency market opens on July 1st.
Options for Love in the Free Agency…
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