With LeBron James leaving for the Los Angeles Lakers of course all eyes would be on Kevin Love. The Cavs resigned Love to a 5-year, $113 million extension. When he joined the Cavs four years ago many expected him to be the first guy out but now he’s the last guy standing in Cleveland.
In six seasons with the Wolves, Kevin Love averaged 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds per game. In his best season he averaged 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds per game. He was a rebounding machine in Minnesota, he led the league in rebounds with 15.2 during the 2010-11 season. In Cleveland Love has averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds per game. His best season he averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Love was the 3rd option when he joined the Cavs and his shot attempts went down a lot. He failed to take over 1000 shots in all four years with the Cavs. He was stationed at the 3-point line so his offensive rebounds took a hit as well. In five of those six seasons in Minnesota Love grabbed at least 220 offensive rebounds. In Cleveland he failed to crack 150 offensive rebounds.
As a go-to guy Love could get the job done. He was a great passer, averaging 4.4 in that final year in Minny. He’s become a very good 3-point shooter; 37% for his time in Cleveland and 41% last season. Can Kevin Love lead a team again? Nobody expects him to go back to 26 and 12 Love but can he be 23 and 12?
He will get more opportunities as the number one guy. How will Ty Lue use him in this new system that has no LeBron James? I expect the ball to move a lot more. Expect Love to catch it around the high post more often to initiate offense. He will still attempt his five or six 3-pointers per game but he will also take more than 12 shots per game.
Love’s offensive rebounding will increase as a result of getting more post Iso touches. He’s still very good in the post but most of the time he would start the game with post touches and end the game launching 3-pointers. It will be a better mixture this time around without LeBron James.
The Cavs still have hope of making a playoff push in a weaker Eastern Conference. It will be fun to see if Kevin Love can recapture some of his dominate offensive glory. He’s still been in All-Star in Cleveland now he gets to have all the All-Star responsibilities.