The Cavs acquired restricted free agent forward Lauri Markkanen in a sign-and-trade on Friday. He's getting a four-year, $67 million deal, per NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski. So what does that mean for Love? Well, let's just say he could be a buyout candidate ahead of the 2021-22 season.
Love is entering the third year of his four-year, $120 million contract with the Cavaliers. His role will now be diminished because of the Markkanen signing, and his commitment to the Cleveland organization has been called into question. It's similar to the situation Blake Griffin was in last season. And though Griffin's buyout had a high price tag, the Pistons made it work and he wound up signing with the Brooklyn Nets.
Some are speculating Love could reach a buyout with the Cavaliers and then sign with, you guessed it, the Los Angeles Lakers. In such a scenario, he'd reunite with his longtime former Cavs teammate, LeBron James, and his former UCLA teammate, Russell Westbrook. The Lakers might not be the only team in the mix, though. Portland and Golden State could also be options.
Though Kevin Love isn't the dominant stretch forward he once was, he's still capable of getting hot from beyond the perimeter. He shot 36.5 percent from three-point range last season.
And let's not forget about Blake Griffin's improved play after he had joined the Nets. Love could see a similar improvement playing with a championship-contending roster.
Keep an eye out here. If Love reaches a buyout with the Cavaliers, the Lakers could swoop in in a hurry.