The Cleveland Cavaliers knew they were taking a calculated risk when they traded away potential star Andrew Wiggins in order to bring in a proven star in Kevin Love. The Cavaliers knew Love could leave as a free agent after one season, and there’s “a legitimate fear” that the power forward will simply walk in the offseason, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski.
Wojnarowski said this on “The Dan Patrick Show,” saying that he thinks Love will surely look at other teams in free agency and that he hasn’t been particularly fond of playing the “Chris Bosh role” in the Cavaliers’ offense. Bosh transitioned from being a 20 and 10 low-post threat with the Toronto Raptors to more of a stretch big with the Miami Heat, which is similar to what has happened with Love in Cleveland.
Love struggled to fit in at times this season, and while the dip in his overall numbers was expected, the dip in efficiency was unexpected. But even with some of the issues, the Cavaliers became the offensive juggernaut everybody figured they’d become during the second half of the season. Love appeared to be as comfortable as ever in the first round against the Boston Celtics, only to be knocked out for the year because of a shoulder injury.
Love’s presence was missed in Cleveland’s Game 1 loss to the Chicago Bulls, and it’s difficult to see the Cavaliers making a title run without him. Couple that with him possibly leaving, and that makes the injury even more demoralizing for Cleveland.
The Los Angeles Lakers are seen as the team with the best chance to snag Love away from the Cavaliers, and the Celtics have been mentioned as well, although it would be pretty wild to go there after how this season ended. Love could also opt in to the last year of his contract and then explore his options when the cap jumps in 2016. He has had nothing but good things to say about his time in Cleveland amid all of the scrutiny, and it seems like opting in to that last year would be the best route.