The Cleveland Cavaliers have made it explicitly clear that Kevin Love is not in the franchise’s long-term plans.
Although he has two years and nearly $60 million left on his existing deal, plans are in place to relegate the 32-year-old to a bench role and prioritize giving playing time to the team’s younger stars.
Because of how much money Love is still owed, the organization has made it clear that if he wants to go out and ring chase with a different ballclub – he’ll need to give some money back. In fact, according to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, the sum that Love would have to be willing to part with has been described as “significant.”
“Love would have to give back significant money, somewhere in the $12-$15 million range, for the Cavs to consider letting him walk,” he wrote. “Love has given no indication to this point he’s willing to do that. So the staring match continues.”
Should Love change his tune on that, one obvious team awaits him: the Los Angeles Lakers.
In a recent column, Kyle Daubs of Fadeaway World suggested that Love to LA would make a lot of sense for all parties involved.
“Love could negotiate a buyout to try and win one more championship,” he wrote. “If he were to be bought out, joining the Lakers would make the most sense based on his connections to the team.”
Last year Love averaged 12.2 points while shooting 40.9 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from three. In addition, he chipped in 7.4 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per outing. Although he obviously isn’t the player he was in his heyday, the former UCLA could still be a valuable contributor on a veteran-laden ballclub like the Lakers.
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 15, 2021
Beyond that, Love has a very strong relationship with LeBron James. In fact, not long ago James sent Love a special gift as a token of his gratitude for their friendship.
This obviously isn’t the first time Love has been linked to the Lakers. In the past, however, it was believed that he could be included in a trade involving a couple of other big names. Since those big names have moved on in recent weeks, the prospect of that occurring seems unlikely.
Love has previously expressed a desire to join a different team if he ever got a reprieve from the Cavaliers. However, the far greater likelihood if he does get bought out is that he ultimately lands with the Lakers.