As if there weren’t enough rumors swirling around the NBA with the NBA Draft being so close, Marc Stein reports that Kevin Love has opted out of his contract with the Cavaliers.
Love will be a free agent this summer, and of course the Lakers rumors have already appeared.
But deciding to become a free agent this offseason likely has little to do with Love leaving Cleveland. Rather it will give Love the best of both worlds. He can now sign a two-year deal with the second year being a player option that will allow him to choose where he wants to play, and still allow him to be a free agent in 2016 when the cap rises and a max contract will be worth significantly more. The player option also gives him an extra year of financial security in case of a major injury. LeBron is expected to do the same exact thing.
He could also just take the safest route possible and sign a five-year max contract with Cleveland, or a four-year max contract with another team. But the way to maximize his earning potential would be to wait to sign a max deal in 2016. Still, that type of long-term financial security has to be pretty enticing.
That being said, is it possible that Love leaves Cleveland? Sure. Woj already brought up the Celtics as a possibility, and says that Boston will try to entice Love with a Big Three of……..wait for it…… Love, Paul Pierce, and Robin Lopez. Seriously.
The Lakers will likely try to pursue Love as well, and even though I’m not a fan of it, there are definitely valid reasons to do so. I’m against it because I believe in Julius Randle. I believe that Randle is the power forward of the future for the Lakers. And he and Love can’t coexist. Love can’t play center, and Randle shouldn’t be playing small forward. Rather than signing a player that can’t coexist with one of the Lakers’ building blocks going forward, I’d rather them use their max cap space on someone else. Free agents LaMarcus Aldridge and Paul Millsap fall into this reasoning as well.
Nonetheless, you should buckle your seat belts because we’re going to be exposed to a roller coaster of rumors and reports within the next few weeks. You’ll hear things like “Love expected to stay in Cleveland” to “Love intrigued by possibility of joining the Lakers”.
In the end, I think Love will re-sign with Cleveland on a two-year deal, with the second year being a player option. And as a Laker fan, that’s just fine with me.