Kevin Love has acknowledged he sought reassurances from the Cleveland Cavaliers, due to LeBron James' exit, before signing a contract extension.
The Cavs will undoubtedly look different in the 2017-18 season after James opted out of his contract and signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Love gave some insight into what went into the talks before he signed a new deal with the Cavaliers. He told reporters he needed to hear from general manager Koby Altman and owner Dan Gilbert that Cleveland would still be competitive, even without James, who led the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals the past four seasons.
"The only thing I didn't want was I didn't want to be with a team that was going to tank or not be competitive," Love said, per cleveland.com.
"I've been a part of that for a couple of years [in Minnesota], and then we started to build something. I wanted this to be a building year and still be competitive. That was my only hold-up about the whole thing. They had told me they didn't want to take a huge step back.
"I mean, obviously, losing LeBron you know what is going to happen with that, but I wanted to be part of something where we could continue to strive for all these banners up here and build something for the next several years."
Lights. Camera. Action.— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) October 5, 2018
A few sneak peek captures from our 2018-19 Player Intro Video Shoot pic.twitter.com/P1DWpHEZ0v
Love, who signed a four-year, $120 million extension during the off-season, said the whole process did not take long, and revealed he did not ask for more money than what was offered.
"It got done relatively fast," Love said of the negotiations. "I don't know the number of days, but between my agent, Koby and Dan and me just having constant conversations with my agent it didn't seem to be that long.
"They knew I wanted to be back, and [I] think they obviously wanted me back. So I don't think it ever came to a point where I said, 'That's just not going to work.' "
Love, a five-time All-Star, played his first six NBA seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves before he was traded to Cleveland in August 2014, which was when James returned to the team after spending four years with the Miami Heat.
The 30-year-old averaged 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game on a Cavaliers team that was swept by the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals last season. He won an NBA title with Cleveland during the 2015-16 season.
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