It’s official: The Cavaliers have lost in the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors. With the season over, the Cavs will head into the off-season looking to improve or maintain the status of their roster. The biggest hurdle the Cavs will face this offseason is the issue of Kevin Love.
Love can become a free agent this offseason by declining to exercise his $16.7 million player option. The 27 year old boasts a gaudy career averages of 19 points and 12 rebounds per game. Despite the fact that the Cavs will be able to match any offer placed on the table, I don’t see any reason for Love to return to Cleveland.
Love entered this year with high expectations. The trade to Cleveland made him a part of the NBA’s new “Big Three.” Love’s ability to hit threes, jump out the gym and put the ball on the floor made him the perfect pick and pop partner for Lebron and Irving. While many expected Love to be the 2nd option at worst, Kevin was regulated to being the 3rd option on offense for most of the season. How can a player who has proven to be so effective in season’s past see such a dip in usage rate?
Coaching has also been an issue in Cleveland. While David Blatt is the team’s head coach on paper, it seems as if Lebron has taken over the duties of play calling (which is odd, because Blatt is considered one of the best minds in basketball at the moment). Lebron’s lack of acceptance of his role as a player on the team has hurt the blueprint of the team’s structure. After 82 games and a full post-season of basketball, does anyone know the style of basketball the Cavs want to play? Their roster may have possessed the best three man group in basketball, but with no identity or coaching structure, how can the Cavs play to their full potential?
Last, but not least, Love has more appealing location options. NYC has a superstar in Carmelo Anthony that he can pair with. Love is from California, and could play for the Lakers alongside Kobe Bryant. Both of those teams also have enough cap space to add another star player alongside Love. With all of these factors in tow, why would Love return to play in Cleveland?