Kevin Love was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers this season because LeBron James wanted it to happen.
More than just going home, LeBron’s return to Cleveland was a return to power — he has sway in Cleveland that Pat Riley would never have surrendered in Miami. LeBron doesn’t want to look like he’s pulling the strings, but he can make the Cavaliers franchise dance any way he wants. And he wanted Love, so the promising Andrew Wiggins was sent to Minnesota (where he was the Rookie of the Year), and Love was a Cavalier.
Now, after a rocky year that ended early after a shoulder separation in the playoffs, Kevin Love has opted out of his contract. This makes Love an unrestricted free agent.
Love has repeatedly said he plans to remain a Cavalier, opting out was simply about the money (he can make $2.3 million more next season by re-signing with the Cavaliers).
But this time around LeBron is not going to recruit Love to stay with Cavaliers, reports Chris Haynes of the Plains Dealer.
Here’s the thing to watch: Does Kevin Love take meetings with other teams? The Lakers, Celtics, Trail Blazers, the Knicks and a host of other teams will call. Will he and his agent pick up the phone?
I doubt it. Expect Love to sign a two-year deal with an opt-out after one year with the Cavaliers (exactly what LeBron will do) then he will be a free agent again next in 2016 when the cap spikes.
Whether he takes meetings in 2016 is another question entirely.