After failing to make the playoffs with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Kevin Love was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a deal that centered around last year’s No. 1 pick, Andrew Wiggins.
With Love having an opportunity to opt out of his contract at the end of this season, there were constant rumors surrounding his future. While the All-Star forward has maintained he would like to remain in Cleveland, ESPN’s Marc Stein reports he will become a free agent on July 1:
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
In addition, the Los Angeles Lakers will be among the team that will pursue Love:
Sources tell ESPN.com that the Los Angeles Lakers and the Celtics are among the teams planning to make a run at Love in free agency. Sources say that the Portland Trail Blazers, furthermore, are likely to pursue the former Oregon high school star in the event that LaMarcus Aldridge — as many league executives expect — flees the Blazers in free agency.
During the season, there were reports of LeBron James’ frustration with Love, which included a tweet about the big man needing to ‘fit in.’ While the Cavaliers were able to turn their season around in the second half, Love suffered a shoulder injury in the first round of the playoffs.
With Love becoming a free agent on July 1, the Lakers will be among the teams that are expected to pursue him. After the worst win percentage in franchise history, the Lakers will be able to offer Love a max-contract of four-years, $80.5 million.