Kevin Love was recently declared out for the season after undergoing surgery to repair a dislocated shoulder. The only way that absence could be made worse for the Cleveland Cavaliers would be if Love left for good this summer, which according to recent reports is not as unlikely as it would have seemed at the beginning of the season.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Cavaliers organization has a "legitimate fear" Kevin Love leaves in free agency this summer (as transcribed by Kurt Helin of ProBasketball Talk):
"[Love is] going to look at free agency, I think he's going to look at other teams. He can always opt in and go into free agency next summer where there's even a bigger pool of money. But there's a legitimate fear within the Cavs that he will just walk."
This reported fear goes hand in hand with the latest rumor from Sean Deveney of Sporting News, who writes "If Love does leave the Cavs this year, he's much more likely to do so in order to go home to Los Angeles and play for the Lakers."
Could Love really be in the air for the Lakers? Variations of these rumors have been floating around all season, and are certainly only going to continue to ramp up as we get closer to the end of the postseason and free agency. The only other certainty is we will know a lot more about the Lakers' appeal as a free agent destination after the results of the lottery in 12 days.