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Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love will reportedly opt out of his contract and consider a switch to the Los Angeles Lakers next summer.
According to Sam Smith of Bulls.com: “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.”
Whether Love decides he wants to stay in Cleveland beyond this season or not will not impact on his decision to opt out, as if he does he will be eligible for a higher max contract due to his years of experience and the NBA salary cap rising.
After signing for the Cavaliers, it was reported that the power forward and the franchise had an agreement that he would sign a five-year deal at the end of the season. However, the latest report has raised eyebrows over what he may decide to do if things don’t go as smoothly as planned in Cleveland.
Glen Taylor and Chris Bosh both predicted that Love would struggle alongside James, and the Cavs are off to a slow 3-3 start to the season. However, a lot can change between now and the end of the year, and given the Cavaliers will be a stronger proposition and have more quality on their roster, they are still likely to have the edge over the Lakers if Love opts out and goes on to consider his options.
So essentially, Smith may well be correct in his assumption that Love will opt out, but it is unlikely unless something goes dramatically wrong in Cleveland that he would decide to leave and return to LA where he has numerous ties following on from his college career in the city.