The Cleveland Cavaliers are cruising in the Eastern Conference Finals with a 2-0 lead on the Atlanta Hawks. It seems like a foregone conclusion at this point that LeBron James and company are NBA Finals bound. The interesting thing about the team’s dominance throughout the playoffs is they’ve done it without Kevin Love and with a banged up Kyrie Irving.
With Love’s absence not impacting the team and the three-time All-Star simply not fitting in as expected all year long, the veteran forward leaving the team in NBA free agency appears inevitable.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said the following about Love’s immediate future during a podcast with Zach Lowe, via Real GM:
“Every executive I talk to, every agent I talk to, every quasi insider, every girlfriend’s cousin’s sister’s boyfriend all says this guy is out of there,” said Brian Windhorst during a podcast with Zach Lowe.
If Love does leave Cleveland as most seem to expect, the Los Angeles Lakers will be waiting with a max contract to offer the former UCLA star. Love has been linked to the Lakers for the past few years and all signs continue to point to him returning to Los Angeles.
Although the Lakers have a promising young power forward in Julius Randle, there’s no doubt signing Love drastically improves the team. Los Angeles may have one of the best young rosters in the league if able to lure Love away from Cleveland or any other suitor in free agency.
Along with potentially signing Love, the Lakers will have the second overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft and a star in the making with guard Jordan Clarkson. Love may play alongside Kobe Bryant, Ed Davis, Tarik Black, Randle, Clarkson, and either Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor.
Los Angeles won’t be an immediate title contender, but they’ll likely be a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference if everything comes together.[divide]