Both <strong >Kevin Love and LeBron James have the ability to opt out of their current deals with the Cavs next summer and re-sign with them or head elsewhere. Aside from Stephen A. Smith‘s hallucinatory waking dream, James isn’t going anywhere, but Love might be amendable to a second move in as many years — depending on how this year plays out. As Sam Smith at Bulls.com reports, Love could have his eyes set on Hollywood.
It was previously reported Love had a handshake agreement to re-sign with the Cavs next summer for a long-term deal. While the former T-Wolves power forward stands to make $16,744,219 if he opts in next summer, what with the increase in the cap, and with Love’s experience making him eligible for the next tier in contract maximums, he’s projected to clear a max salary around $18.603 next season if he opts out, regardless of where he re-signs.
That’s why the anonymously sourced news from Smith at Bulls.com could be so earth-shattering, even though Love and LeBron’s free agency future will take a back-burner (hopefully) to how they perform on the court this season:
It’s not going to get as much discussion during the season, but one of the biggest issues for the Cavs is that both LeBron James and Kevin Love own opt outs after this season. LeBron James basically cannot afford to go anywhere after his return to Cleveland. But watch out for Love. Indications are he will seriously consider the opt out and has his eyes on a return to Los Angeles, where he attended college and where the Lakers long have had him on their free agent wish list …
Love is from Oregon, but he went to school in Los Angeles, and the Lakers obviously have their eyes on him should he choose to opt out.
But it’s not really a question as to whether he opts out, even if it’s just to re-sign with the Cavs for a single year, or a long-term deal. The Cavs, with LeBron and Kyrie Irving offer his best chance to compete for a title right now, and that could give them the edge next summer when he opts out. Just because he’s going opt out, doesn’t mean he’s fleeing Ohio.
Then again, if the Cavs struggle and Love’s one-year odyssey alongside LeBron and Irving is stunted by an early playoff exit, what’s the incentive for Love to return when he’s the secondary or even tertiary option on a team that didn’t even compete for a title? That’s the nightmare for Cavs fans, and Smith’s report just adds that extra quiver of doubt to any already anxious franchise.
Then again, this is WAYYYY too early to even know whether this report is reliable. Smith has a source, but how plugged in that source might be and whether Love is even thinking about next summer at all, is why the report is murky at best.
If Love opts out, will he re-sign with the Cavs or go somewhere else?
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