Free agent power forward
He made that announcement on The Players Tribune.
Love, who lost most of the postseason to a shoulder injury, wrote the following:
After Game 1 of the NBA Finals, that's when it really struck me. Sitting on the sidelines, I never wanted to play in a game more than that one. I had dreamed of playing in the NBA Finals and I just wanted to help my guys win. I couldn't have been prouder of them as they poured their blood, sweat and tears onto the court.
Yeah, of course I've heard the free agency rumors. But at the end of the day, and after meeting with my teammates (it turns out pools are great meeting places) and with the front office, it was clear Cleveland was the place for me. We're all on the same page and we're all in. We have unfinished business and now it's time to get back to work.
Love, who was seen meeting with LeBron James poolside, will earn a max deal of $110 million over five years, per CBSSports.com NBA writer Matt Moore.
The Cavaliers wasted no time locking him up, quelling rumors in the process that he was headed to the Lakers or Celtics.
Love was considered by some a poor fit as a third wheel in the Cleveland offense. His average of 16.4 points per game was nearly 10 points lower than what he had achieved the previous year in Minnesota. He spent much of his time roaming beyond the arc to provide space to drive for LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
He hit two huge shots down the stretch in a playoff defeat of Boston and seemed to be finding his niche within the offense when the shoulder injury destroyed any further opportunity to contribute.
Love will visit the Lakers and could respond to interest from the Celtics as well. But the Cavaliers are willing to offer him a five-year deal worth more than $100 million, which no other team can match. He has also stated repeatedly his plan to stay in Cleveland.
The 26-year-old Love was a mild disappointment with the Cavaliers in his first year with the team as he struggled to find his shot consistently and fit into an offense that required him to open floor space for LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
Love, who opted out of his contract to become a free agent, is expected to receive a five-year, $110 million deal to remain in Cleveland, although it is reported that Love may want to get a smaller contract in order to then take advantage of the higher salary cap once the league's new TV deals kick in.
Love is coveted by several teams, including the Lakers and Celtics, and he will make visits with several squads once he officially becomes a free agent on July 1.
Superstar LeBron James is also expected to opt out, but the moves are designed to maximize their deals.
Love has stated repeatedly his desire to remain in Cleveland, but rumors persist that he will not only be courted by teams such as the Celtics and Lakers, but that he is leaning toward accepting an offer to go elsewhere.
"I think he has been very clear with what his intentions are all along," Griffin told the Northeast Ohio Media Group. "Any time he has stood in front of anybody he's said that. I'm not concerned about it."
When asked late during the playoff run if he wanted to stay with the Cavaliers, Love said, 'Yes ... I want to win."
Neither the Lakers nor the Celtics would likely provide him that immediate opportunity.
Love, however, did not match previous career numbers as a third wheel in Cleveland. He averaged 16.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game this season and lost a chance to contribute to the last three playoff series when he sustained a shoulder injury.
Love was expected to opt out of his contract and Cavaliers general manager David Griffin previously said he anticipates Love returning to the Cavaliers.
Love's season ended in the first round of the playoffs when he sustained a separated shoulder. He averaged 16.4 points and 9.7 rebounds in 75 games last season.
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