Central Notes: Love, Bucks, Kidd, Henson

Whether he stays in Cleveland or not, Kevin Love has some intriguing financial decisions to make, according to Chris Haynes of Northeast Ohio Media Group. Love, whose first playoff run with the Cavaliers was cut short by injury, can opt out of his contract for next season, which is worth $16.7MM. Love stated in January that he planned to opt in and put off free agency until 2016, but Haynes notes that some circumstances have changed, including the shoulder injury, which could make Love seek long-term security right away. Cleveland owns his Bird Rights and can offer a five-year max deal, while other teams are limited to four years.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Bucks coach Jason Kidd sees a bright future after his first season in Milwaukee, writes Jim Hoehn of The Associated Press. Although the Bucks were bounced from the playoffs Thursday with a 54-point loss to the Bulls, their 26-game improvement in the regular season is cause for optimism. Milwaukee will also benefit from the return of rookie Jabari Parker, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in December. Most of the Bucks’ key players are under contract for next season, but Jared Dudley can opt out and Khris Middleton is a restricted free agent. “I definitely feel like everybody wants me back here, but at the end of the day, it is a business,” Middleton said. “So, you’ve got to make the right decision for you, but I would just love to be here.” 
  • Kidd deserves the title of “point guard on the sidelines,” contends Steve Aschburner of nba.com. He credits the coach with infusing his personality into the Bucks and helping the team stay afloat after the injury to Parker, the buyout of Larry Sanders and the trade of Brandon Knight.
  • The BucksJohn Henson saved some of his best games for the playoffs, writes Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times. After a subpar regular season, the Milwaukee reserve averaged nearly a double-double in the loss to the Bulls“He brings a lot of energy off the bench,” Middleton said of his teammate. “He is a long, athletic big who can challenge at the rim.” Henson is signed through next season and will make nearly $3MM in 2015/16.

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