Kevin Love has opted out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers and now he is set to be on the free agent market this summer and while he is expected to return to the Cavs with LeBron James, teams like the Boston Celtics, LA Lakers, NY Knicks, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns and Chicago Bulls could be interested in signing him.
Love said earlier in the playoffs while he was injured that he wanted to return to Cleveland next year and that now is in his hands with the opt out. According to Marc Stein at ESPN, the move was not a "surprise" and general manager David Griffin said that the team expects Love to return next year. The Cavs traded number one overall pick Andrew Wiggins to the Timberwolves along with Anthony Bennett for Love and the team is invested in keeping him in Cleveland. Love is expected to re-sign even if he takes meetings with other teams, according to Brian Windhorst at ESPN.
Pro Basketball Talk reports that Love is the top priority for the Cavaliers and the team plans on signing him back as soon as they can this offseason. Windhorst at ESPN.com reports that LeBron James will be using his opt out and that he will "see how the team's free agency plays" out before making a decision. James is almost guaranteed to stay in Cleveland and Love is reportedly looking to come back, but his main question is a short term or long term contract. James will reportedly not meet with other teams this offseason about signing.
Love was injured in Game 4 against the Boston Celtics and missed the rest of the playoffs for the Cavaliers and now he has a major decision to make. The Akron Beacon-Journal reported that Griffin said that he expects Love to "re-sign" with the Cavs, but he did not say what type of deal the team would explore. Last year when Love was dealt to the Cavaliers, one report said the team agreed to sign him to a max deal if he opted out the next summer.
That type of agreement would not be legal under the CBA and there is no proof that the team or Love engaged in any agreement, but that also could easily be left without a paper trail. Either way, Love is going to be the biggest target on the free agent market this summer for teams if he doesn't come out and say he is staying with the Cavaliers. According to Pro Basketball Talk, Love could meet with teams in free agency, as the Knicks, Lakers, Warriors and Celtics all could be interested in bringing him in.
The Lakers have long been interested in Love and they will be one of the teams that goes after him hard this summer if he takes meetings. The Knicks have the money to spend, while the Celtics also have a high amount of cap space and reportedly will go after Love. According to Yahoo Sports, the Suns and Blazers could be "dark horse" options, as both teams may have money to spend on free agents and could chase Love. Love is from the Pacific northwest and the team could chase him if LaMarcus Aldridge leaves in free agency.