Kevin Love will hit free agency a year early in 2015, barring a massive change in circumstances. But the All-Star power forward could change addresses even before then.
Acquiring Love, who was born in California and went to college at UCLA, has long been rumored to be the Los Angeles Lakers’ top priority this offseason. In what Mark Heisler of Forbes terms a “dream scenario,” the Lakers would trade their first-round pick in the 2014 NBA draft to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Love.
“The dream scenarios are hitting the lottery for a healthy Joel Embiid or trading their No. 1 pick to Minnesota for Kevin Love,” Heisler writes. “The Lakers will certainly make the offer; the Timberwolves might even go for it if Love, who’s widely suspected of wanting to join the (Lakers), tells the Wolves that he’ll walk … in 2015, otherwise.”
The Wolves are in this predicament because they refused to offer Love a maximum five-year deal in 2012. Instead, they offered the budding star a four-year contract with an opt-out clause after year three. It is a given that Love, who will make $15.7 million next season, will exercise the opt-out and hit the market next summer.
The Lakers went 27-55 this season with Kobe Bryant missing all but six games due to injuries. They have the sixth-best odds in the NBA draft lottery to be held May 20.