The Cavs made Love a priority on the first day of free agency. His representatives wrote on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon (Thursday in Manila) that he had made no decisions, even following reports that the Lakers had been eliminated.
While it was expected Shumpert and Thompson would at least be back on a qualifying offers, many rumors were still surfacing regarding Love’s supposed desire to play elsewhere. So far, the Cavs are off to a good start.
In the first 24 hours of the NBA’s free agency period, the Cavs re-signed their biggest free agents, piling up a giant payroll in the process.
As of early Thursday afternoon, Damian Lillard is nearing a five-year, $120-million extension, which would top the current batch of free agent deals.
The Cavaliers agreed to terms with Kevin Love on a maximum contract of five years and more than $110 million and gave swingman Iman Shumpert a four-year, $40 million deal, two people with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Many Cavs fans came into the offseason understandably nervous.
The Cavaliers are trying to re-sign Tristan Thompson, but the two sides are further apart from a deal than we all though.
Also, the Memphis Grizzlies have agreed to terms with free-agent forward Brandan Wright. He also explained why he decided not to do a free-agency tour or meet with other teams during the process. He said he had been in contact recently with management and his teammates, alluding to spending time poolside with LeBron James.
And today, those same fans likely let out an exhale large enough to be felt across the entire country.
The day started with Love announcing in The Players Tribune that he was coming back to the Cavaliers after a couple weeks of speculation that he could head somewhere else after one year with the Cavs. Love has steadily maintained his allegiance to Cleveland, stating several times that he plans to re-sign with the Cavs. And he’ll have core players like Thompson and Shumpert along for the ride. Curry has been with the Warriors since they drafted him seventh overall in 2009. With every clutch rebound he collected in the playoffs, you could just see the dollars of his next contract going up.
Cleveland needed someone like Shumpert. “If he stays healthy next year, that is what is most important”. Assuming James never bolts from Cleveland again, their top four players will be under contract through at least 2019. Problem was, no one in the national media seemed to believe him.
According to small forward LeBron James and Thompson, Shumpert’s return to the lineup despite taking a hit from Green proved to be a motivating factor for the Cavaliers, as they fought to take their first-ever series lead in the National Basteball Association Finals.