NBA Roundtable

$70 Million Offer For Kevin Love

In General NBA on March 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Twincities.com reports

Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love can look forward to a contract extension offer of six years in the $70 million range once a new NBA labor deal is reached, a little birdie says.

Well, okay a couple of things

  • The maximum number of added years the Wolves can sign Love to is 5 years. Not 6. Since he still has one year left on his contract.
  • So the Wolves are either talking about a 5 year $70 million extension ($14 mil per annum) or a 5 year $64 million extension ($70 mil minus the $6 mil he is owed for his fourth season, making six years and $70 million which is a shade under $13 million per annum).
  • The current maximum contract offer for a player of Love’s experience is about $83-85 million. So the Wolves are offering considerably less than a max contract as is reported elsewhere.
  • However, there are reports saying the $70 mil is a projected max contract under the new CBA. So maybe it is a max contract. But those reports came after the initial ones and are likely erroneous.

So where are we? Quick roundup

  • A max deal would offer Love around $17 million per annum over five years
  • The deal Minnesota are offering is worth $13-14 million per annum.

How much do I believe Love is worth?

  • I think Kevin Love is an above average starting power forward (top 15 PF) in the league.
  • I am not convinced that he is an All-Star caliber player. I view him as a third scoring option on a quality offensive team + consider him one of worst defensive players in the league at his position that is playing a large number of minutes. So his poor defense negates some of his quality contributions. Love is, however, a top class rebounder, arguably the best in the league today. So a top rebounder + a third go-to scorer + a major defensive liability. That is the summation.
  • Given those characteristics, I do not believe Love to be a top ten PF yet … nevermind an All-Star level player (top 25 player in league).
  • Kevin Love is still a young player and looks to have some room for improvement. However, his ceiling doesn’t appear to be much higher than his current level of performance due to his limited athleticism + he has already developed a high skill level in most areas. But he could improve some more as a go-to scorer, especially down in the post where he has good size and touch.
  • So as an above average starter, with a small bit of potential for improvement, and, as a likely third (or fourth) best player on a Championship caliber team … I think Kevin Love is worth around $9-11 million per annum.

So the Wolves would be overpaying Love by a substantial amount over five years. It won’t kill them or anything. But I do think they are overvaluing his contributions.

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