Over the past few years, Kevin Love has been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers constantly, but has always maintained he would return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Love has now made it official, writing an article for The Player’s Tribune declaring that he will return to the Cavs:
I’m going back to Cleveland.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that Love agreed to a five-year $110 million contract with the Cavaliers:
Kevin Love will accept a five-year, $110 million contract extension with the Cavs according to sources
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 1, 2015
This is another blow in the Lakers’ free agency hopes. The team reportedly had a meeting scheduled with Love, but that obviously won’t happen anymore. The team met with LaMarcus Aldridge, but there are reports that it didn’t go too well. The Lakers also met with Greg Monroe and have another scheduled with DeAndre Jordan.
The Lakers had long been a rumored destination for Love, but being traded to the Cavaliers and nearly winning a championship clearly changed that thought process. With Love off the board, the Lakers will need to turn to other options if they plan on making the splash they intended to in free agency.
Aldridge very well may prefer the Spurs which guys such as Monroe or Jordan as the Lakers’ top targets. The team has also been linked to bigs like Robin Lopez and Tyson Chandler. Small forward Tobias Harris has also been mentioned as a possibility for the team.[divide]