The Cleveland Cavaliers were blown out 103-84 Sunday night by the Sacramento Kings.
With an injured LeBron James continuing to look on from the bench, the Cavs still haven’t figured things out, despite the other two All-Stars on the floor.
(Cleveland has dropped five in a row, falling to .500 at 19-19 and is just 1-8 sans LeBron.)
Head coach David Blatt raised eyebrows by saying that Kevin Love isn’t a max-level player yet.
Reporter: "Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love they are two max players, they're here." Blatt responds quickly: "Kevin's not a max player yet."
— Blake Ellington (@BlakeEllington) January 12, 2015
Love led the way for Cleveland in the loss, finishing with 25 points and 10 rebounds. He can opt-out and become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Per the NOMG and Akron Beacon Journal:
“Kev’s not a max player yet, is he?” Cavaliers coach David Blatt said Sunday night. […] It was a response to my question, although, really, I hadn’t yet asked anything and had merely stated that James was out but Irving and Love were still here, and they’re “max” players.
Blatt was technically correct — Love’s four-year, $61 million contract is not a “max” deal because he didn’t sign for a full five years in 2012. But his yearly salary was the maximum when he signed. […] It’s highly unlikely Blatt meant to disparage Love, although it’s unclear why, in that moment, Blatt would choose to challenge the finer points of Love’s contract when a broader point was being made.
Love is unlikely to sign long term this summer because of the salary cap. He is expected to opt out of his current contract at the end of the season for cap purposes, but he might only sign a one-year deal to line up for what is expected to be a significant cap spike in the summer of 2016. […] Love has said all the right things about re-signing with the Cavs this summer and the Cavs continue to insist he’s here long term. Executives around the league, however, continue to believe Love could leave Cleveland at the end of the season. We’ll see. There is still a long way to go.