The Cavaliers quest to win an NBA title has been dealt a devastating blow. It was clear after the injury suffered at the hands of a Kelly Olynyk foul that Kevin Love's season was in serious jeopardy. Cavs general manager David Griffin admitted yesterday that it was highly unlikely Love would return during the playoffs.
On Wednesday night the Cavs provided a statement that puts that in stone; Love underwent surgery this afternoon, and will be out four to six months. From the Cavs:
Cavaliers forward Kevin Love underwent successful surgery this afternoon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City to repair his dislocated left shoulder. The surgery was performed by Dr. David W. Altchek. Continuing treatment and rehabilitation at Cleveland Clinic Courts and Cleveland Clinic Sports Health will be conducted by the Cavaliers’ medical staff and Head Team Physician Dr. Richard D. Parker. His projected recovery time is four to six months.
As a potential free agent, this could mean Love's career in Cleveland has come to a close. Given the success of the team, and his essential role in that success, it's hard to see that being the outcome. He can opt out of his contract and become a free agent, he can opt in for one year, he can sign a five year max deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
For now, though, he focus is on what his absence will mean for the Cavs going forward. They are still a good team without him. It's unclear if they are a contender. There had been hope that perhaps he could make a comeback in the Finals or something. That's no longer an option. We'll have more analysis for you moving forward.