Kevin Love’s playoff experience is over, but his future in Cleveland is still a hot topic. Despite some challenging times this season, there’s reasons for him to stay.

Based on the current scenarios here are Love’s best options moving forward:

1) Boston Celtics

This may sound crazy after Love blamed Kelly Olynyk for tearing his shoulder, but when cooler heads prevail the Celtics may sign Love to his next contract. Brad Stevens is the best young coach in the NBA and if anyone knows how to maximize Kevin Love on the court, it’s Stevens. Don’t forget Love did visit Boston during the season and similar to when Kobe Bryant and Rajon Rondo met for breakfast it wasn’t without intention. The Celtics are rebuilding and they have tons of draft picks in the next couple of years that they can either use or dangle for free agents/trades. Danny Ainge is rumored to go after DeMarcus Cousins and Love would be a great sidekick next to him. Being from L.A., it’s hard to imagine, but the NBA is a business and the Celtics may have the brightest future and the most to offer Love.

2) Los Angeles Lakers

Kevin Love has been rumored to want to be a Laker since his college days at UCLA. Although his stock has taken a hit this season because of his displeasure about being misused by David Blatt, Love still puts up impressive numbers as the 3rd option on a team that is winning. Julius Randle and Ed Davis plan to fill the power forward spot in L.A., but having Love would be a good problem to have. Love has shown some weakness in big game situations, but he wouldn’t have to be the “star” on the Lakers. L.A. Fans hope his love for the purple and gold outweighs his desire to win short-term. Until Love actually becomes a Laker, rumors will persist. He has a high basketball IQ which Byron Scott would love, but his arrival in L.A depends a lot on what the Lakers do in the draft and free agency to show him what he can be a part of.

3) Cleveland Cavaliers

Controversy sells so Love’s unhappiness continued to be an issue in Cleveland, but winning cures all. The media tends to over-inflate drama to draw attention and anytime a player of Love’s caliber has to make an adjustment in his game, there are growing pains. If the Cavaliers go far in the playoffs, all of a sudden Love isn’t as valuable as once thought. If they don’t, they’ll do everything they can to convince him to stay including firing their Head Coach. The perceived rift between LeBron James and Kevin Love is bigger than it seems. Athletes don’t need to be best friends in order to compete and win. Just ask Shaq and Kobe. If Love stays in Cleveland it will only get easier.

Love’s decision comes down to winning versus the spotlight. Does he want to win a title or be the main guy on his team? His next contract may be his most lucrative one, so he must be wise. Loyalty is a fragile item in today’s league, so it really comes down to where Love wants to spend the rest of his career in basketball.

His injury keeps him off the radar for now, but come July, everyone will want to know where Love resumes his career.

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Author, blogger, speaker & die-hard Lakers fan

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