With the money at stake, it isn't particularly surprising that Kevin Love is opting out of the final year of his contract and becoming a free agent. After the Cavaliers struggled to score in the playoffs following his injury, his importance to the team should be understood. So while Love will be an unrestricted free agent, you have to believe bringing him back is the top priority for the Cavs this summer.
Their best player, the man perhaps most responsible for bringing Kevin Love into the fold in Cleveland in the first place, is reportedly going to let him make his own decision:
LeBron James won't be re-recruiting Kevin Love, I'm told. He believes Love understands he can be a part of something special. It's his call.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 24, 2015
Now, players take their right to free agency very seriously. LeBron James left his best friend Dwyane Wade just last summer, and there doesn't appear to be a ton of love lost. They're still very close. So this makes sense to a certain extent; LeBron James knows this is Kevin Love's decision and he's going to respect it either way.
On the other hand, it seems like there might be an opportunity here for James to tell Love just how important he is to the team's success, and how much he's looking forward to getting to know him better as a player and person. He could talk about having a better understanding of Love's value after losing in the NBA Finals. David Griffin, and perhaps David Blatt, will be able to do that. But everyone knows James has a lot of influence in Cleveland.
How this plays out will be interesting. It's too early to judge if this is a big deal, but it's hard to be thrilled about. Maybe this is a sign that LeBron is confident Love is coming back regardless. The team certainly has unfinished business. We will see.