Three-time All-Star Kevin Love will have a tough decision to make this summer. The star forward can either do nothing and simply earn the $16.7 million he’ll be paid in the last year of his deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers or opt out in an attempt to secure his long-term future.
If Love decides to opt out, the veteran power forward will become an unrestricted free agent with plenty of teams interested in his services. It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers will be one of those teams with many believing the storied franchise will have the best shot of landing him in NBA free agency.
According to Sean Deveney of Sporting News, if Love ultimately chooses to leave Cleveland, it’s highly likely he’s headed for Los Angeles:
If Love does leave the Cavs this year, he’s much more likely to do so in order to go home to Los Angeles and play for the Lakers.
Although the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks will be suitors for Love’s services in the event he opts for free agency, all signs continue to point to Lakers as the most likely destination. The Cavaliers will definitely do everything within their power to retain Love and understandably so, but the rumors continue to circulate about his departure this summer.
Leaving a team built to win multiple championships with arguably the league’s best player leading the way in LeBron James seems like a crazy notion to some. Although it’d be tough to perceive Love leaving a favorable situation in terms of contending on annual basis in Cleveland, the UCLA product may have had his sights set on returning to Los Angeles the entire time.
Love would become the centerpiece of the rebuild for the Lakers and as a result would take his brand to the next level. Along with being the face of the franchise moving forward, Love would also be surrounded by promising young talent in the form of Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and potentially a high lottery pick while also being back home in Los Angeles.
Despite all the positives of Love’s potential return to Los Angeles, the former Bruin has downplayed any talk of wanting to opt out of his deal during the season. That stance may have changed, and behind closed doors it’s possible he’s already made up his mind, but the Lakers will have to wait a little while longer until they know if they’ve got a legitimate shot at landing Love.[divide]