Central Notes: Love, Bucks, Cavs

There’s little doubt that the Cavs would offer a maximum-salary deal to Kevin Love if he were to opt out this summer, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. That’s in spite of Love’s shoulder injury and a report in March from ESPN colleague Chris Broussard, who said that rival executives had begun to question whether Cleveland would shell out the max for the power forward.

Here’s the latest from the NBA’s Central Division:

  • The Bucks‘ hard-nosed defensive style is a direct reflection on coach Jason Kidd‘s influence and personality, Teddy Greenstein of The Chicago Tribune writes. Not only has Milwaukee upped its win total by 26 from the previous season, the team improved from last in the league in defensive efficiency in 2013/14 to second overall this season, Greenstein notes. “He [Kidd] came in with the philosophy of: If you don’t play defense, you won’t play,” forward Jared Dudley said.
  • Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said he would step into negotiations personally with the intent of getting a deal done fairly quickly to finance a new downtown Milwaukee arena for the Bucks, Don Walker of The Journal Sentinel writes. “We appreciate the governor’s leadership and commitment to taxpayers throughout this process and look forward to further progress,” said Bucks President Peter Feigin.
  • The loss of Love for the remainder of the playoffs removes much of the pressure for the Cavs and LeBron James to bring an NBA title to Cleveland this season, Michael Lee of The Washington Post writes.
  • If the Cavs are able to advance deep into the playoffs without Love in the lineup it could alter the franchise’s bargaining stance with the forward, Tom Ziller of SBNation writes. The reverse will also hold true, and if the franchise struggles mightily it will serve to reinforce Love’s value to the squad as a floor-stretcher and rebounder, Ziller adds.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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