Updated 04:12 PM EST, Tue, Jan 18, 2022

Kevin Love Opts Out From Final Year of Contract With Cleveland Cavaliers; Free Agency Next?

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It's goodbye to the Cleveland Cavaliers for forward Kevin Love as he opted out of his final year with the team.

ESPN said that sources with knowledge on the matter confirmed that Love told the Cavs on Wednesday that his time with the team is over and that he will choose to become a free agent.

It was also noted that the team was already expecting this decision from Love with ESPN saying that the Cavs is planning to resign their star forward who was not able to participate in the NBA Finals and some of the games leading to it because of a shoulder injury.

With his decision to become a free agent, teams are now reportedly running after him including the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and even the Portland Trail Blazers.

According to Fox Sports, the New York Knicks could also be landing a spot for Love, who is a three-time All-Star.

The question now is what prompted him to make this decision since it appeared from his interviews after the injury that he was willing to stay in Cleveland. "I plan on being here" was his previous statement.

After his shoulder injury last month, Love said in a separate ESPN report that he will still be playing for the Cavs next season since he has one remaining year with the team as stipulated in his contract.

During the first round of Game 4 against the Celtics, Love dislocated his shoulder after Kelly Olynyk pulled down on his left arm. The Celtics center was suspended for a game, but he is set to serve it at the start of next season

Fox Sports theorized that his shoulder injury could have played a big role in his decision making since he still needs more time to recover after his surgery. Another thing could be his working relationship with James which seemed off in most of their games.

This also raises the possibility that he cannot go back to Cleveland despite rumors that the team will be re-signing him. SB Nation recounted that the two had a difficult relationship, to a point that they did not recognise each others' strengths and would rather favor players from other teams.

The Big Lead noted that James does not express any intention of getting Love again since he said that it is the latter's decision if he wants to be "part of something special.

"Perhaps Kevin Love and LeBron James really don't have much of a personal relationship left. Would that be enough to push him out of Cleveland?" questioned SB Nation.

It can be remembered that it was only last summer when Love was traded to Cleveland from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Despite changing roles with the Cavs, the forward still managed to make an average of 16.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.

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