Even though Kevin Love has said on a number of different occasions that he plans on remaining in Cleveland next season, rumors about him have persisted throughout the season. No potential free agent has been linked to the Lakers more than the Cavaliers power forward.
Following the Cavaliers’ Game 1 loss in the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors, Love spoke about wishing he could help his teammates and again reiterated his desire to return to Cleveland next year via ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne:
I’ve never wanted to be in a game more than that one,” said Love, who had never been on a playoff team in his six prior NBA seasons.
Asked specifically if that meant he wanted to be back in Cleveland next season, Love said, “Yes. I want to win.”
Love had some issues fitting in with the Cavaliers on the floor this season, posting his lowest points average since his second year and failing to average double-digit rebounds for the first time since his rookie season. That, along with his connections to the Los Angeles area, has fueled the rumors that he wants to join the Lakers.
The Lakers would surely welcome Love if he does indeed decide to test the free agent market and the Lakers have the money to offer Love a maximum contract this off-season. Love joining the Lakers would be a massive acquisition for the team, but with him saying on so many different occasions that he wants to stay in Cleveland, the Lakers may have to put their focus elsewhere when July 1 hits.[divide]