The Cleveland Cavaliers are still the favorites to keep Kevin Love with the max-contract deal they’re planning to offer him. But the Los Angeles Lakers are going to meet him and maybe the Boston Celtics as well, if Love feels like talking to them.
The Cavaliers, who Love played for last season and who knows, might have helped win a championship had he not been injured for most of the playoffs, are planning to offer him a five-year deal worth $110 million. These are the kind of moves LeBron James is hoping to see as he opted out of his deal and waits on the sidelines, approving or disapproving of what his team does. It also means the Cavaliers might be heading towards some sort of record in luxury taxes, with the salary cap at $69 million and the luxury tax threshold at $83 million or so.
But Love, who has said a number of times he wants to re-sign with Cleveland, is still going to give at least the Lakers a chance to make him an offer. Why? Maybe he has always wanted to play in Los Angeles after starring for UCLA before being drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Or maybe it’s just to give the Cavaliers something to think about and hurry up with their offer, and not just plan to make it.
How do the Celtics fit in? They’re been interested in Love for a very long time. Pretty much from the moment it was made clear he wasn’t going to play for the Timberwolves anymore than he had to. But they’re behind on almost all of the big free agency deals, and might not even get a chance to talk to Love face to face. He might be signed before he actually gives them a one-on-one (although teams always send a number of people to convince free agents) meeting.