Cleveland intends to remain a playoff contender rather than go through a total rebuild if James signs elsewhere once he becomes an unrestricted free agent on Sunday, Vardon continues. The caveat is that no one on the roster is untouchable should James decide to stay.
Love would end up being more of a focal point in Cleveland’s offensive scheme without James. Prior to being traded to the Cavaliers after James left the Heat to return to his hometown team in 2014, Love posted big numbers with the Timberwolves. He averaged 26.1 PPG, 12.5 RPG and 4.4 APG in his last season there in 2013/14.
Love has two years remaining on his contract, though the final year includes a player option. He’s due approximately $24.1MM next season and $25.6MM in 2019/20. Love averaged 17.6 PPG and 9.3 RPG last season but was forced to the sidelines for 23 games due to a broken hand.
The Cavaliers are also interested in re-signing free agent Jeff Green and could offer him their $5,291,918 taxpayer mid-level exception, Vardon adds. Green was a solid role player while making the veteran’s minimum last season, averaging 10.8 PPG and 3.1 RPG in 78 games.