With the talk making rounds of the Cavaliers potentially buying out and stretching the contract of Kevin Love, the rumors of Love’s next destination aren’t likely to end soon.
And per Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Warriors are among those “flirting with the idea” of adding Love, as they have been “for years.” Simmons added that the Warriors’ efforts to acquire Love could turn into a “full-court press” before month’s end.
Sources told Hoops Wire last week that the Cavs are in the early stages of evaluating trades centered on their veteran power forward — though with two years and $60 million left on Love’s contract, a trade would undoubtedly be a long shot. Love is also very open to the idea of playing elsewhere, and may even be downright hopeful of it.
Some have speculated that Love may do whatever he can financially to land with a playoff contender as the Cavs continue their rebuild.
Here is what Simmons wrote: “There is growing sentiment around the league that Love will negotiate a buyout with Cleveland and sign a veteran-minimum contract with a contender, with one of the options being the Warriors.”
Love is currently practicing with the U.S. men’s basketball team ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, as is Warriors forward Draymond Green. Love spoke on their relationship Tuesday.
“Obviously, with Draymond, it’s a love-hate relationship, but we’ve become actually pretty close friends over the past few years,” Love said. “I love how he competes, his mind for the game, his intangibles, how he leads the break. He passes, he plays defense, and it seems like he’s always in the right spot.
“He’s first-team All-Defense and has been the Defensive Player of the Year for a reason, so I think we can elevate each other’s game.”
Love, 32, appeared in just 25 games last season as the result of a recurring calf injury. His history of missing time with aches and pains and even surgeries is another reason for opposing teams to hesitate when it comes to a possible trade.
“More likely is reaching a buyout agreement, in which Cleveland can stretch the $60 million over five years and let Love choose where to sign at a veteran-minimum contract,” Simmons wrote. “His options would be plenty.”
One report suggested the Nets are Love’s preferred destination should an agreement be reached with the Cavs, and Love is currently rooming with Nets star Kevin Durant at Team USA camp. But as Simmons mentioned, despite the career-low numbers from last season, Love would likely have his pick of places to play if he becomes a free agent.
Along with the Warriors and possibly Nets, the 76ers, Clippers, Pelicans, Heat and hometown Trail Blazers would all likely be among those making a serious pitch to Love.
But right now, it appears Love and the Cavs are figuring out the next steps that make the most sense. That may take a little bit. When and if it happens, it seems clear the Warriors will be among those waiting.