Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love has reportedly opted out of his contract and will become a free agent on July 1, according to ESPN sources.
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ESPN sources say Cavs forward Kevin Love has opted out of the final year of his contract and will be a free agent July 1
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 24, 2015
If confirmed, it comes as no surprise that Love will consider his options this summer as even though he has insisted all year that he intends on staying in Cleveland, he may well now choose to meet with other teams.
Essentially, this is a power move to either move elsewhere or get a better deal from the Cavs, and it remains to be seen whether or not he remains with the team after missing out on their playoff run to the NBA Finals this past season.
Cleveland can still pay him the most money and with the new TV deal set to impact on the salary cap in 2016, it is a wise move for him to obtain as much money as possible moving forward.
The general expectation is that he stays with the Cavaliers, as leaving LeBron James and his support cast behind would seem a risky move given that they will most likely be heading back to the Finals next year given the strength of their starting line-up.
However, the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Boston Celtics are all expected to come calling and will make their pitch to Love, and so it remains to be seen if they can convince him to start afresh elsewhere.
The former Minnesota Timberwolves star hasn’t had an easy transition year in Cleveland as he encountered various issues with his role and playing alongside James throughout the regular season.
After suffering a dislocated shoulder in the first round against the Celtics, Love missed the rest of the playoffs and so the decision is there as to whether he comes back for another go or moves on and tries his luck elsewhere.