It’s going to be quite a while before Kevin Love hits free agency, but speculation about the much-anticipated Summer of 2015 are already well underway.
Love gave the Los Angeles Lakers 22 reasons why they should pursue him in free agency, notching a triple-double of 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists in the Minnesota Timberwolves’ victory Friday night. According to ESPN Los Angeles, Love has interest in the Lakers, especially with his close ties to the city.
“Love’s ties to L.A. are undeniable,” Dave McMenamin wrote. “He went to college at UCLA. His father, Stan, played for the Lakers — and coincidentally was on the 1974-75 team, a.k.a. the worst team in Lakers history up until this season, so his son could help make up for that. And Love was born in Santa Monica, to boot.”
Not only is Love keeping tabs on the Lakers, but also has interest in the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks, according the report.
A source familiar with Love’s thinking told ESPNLosAngeles.com that it’s not just L.A. that is appealing to Love; he’s enamored with the idea of being “big time in a big city,” and that list of potential places he’d seek includes New York and Chicago, as well.
With Chicago, Love could eventually pair up with a healthy Derrick Rose and darkhorse MVP candidate in Joakim Noah. The Bulls currently sit fourth in the Eastern Conference even without their MVP point guard for a second consecutive season, and come 2015, will shed Carlos Boozer‘s contract.
The Knicks’ chances of landing the power forward revolve around what new team president Phil Jackson does this offseason. Carmelo Anthony is the marquee free agent, and his decision to either stay in New York or skip town will likely impact what Love does. If Jackson can convince Anthony to stay and put the pieces of the puzzle together around him, New York becomes all the more attractive for Love.
One thing that can be counted is a trade for Love prior to the time he hits the open market. The Timberwolves have made it clear they have no intentions of dealing him. Previously, ESPN reported the Lakers would have dealt their first-round pick in the NBA Draft — likely to be a lottery selection — to land Love.