Cleveland Cavaliers star forward Kevin Love left Beantown with a bum left shoulder Sunday, and perhaps a bad taste in his mouth about the Celtics with free agency looming this summer.
Kelly Olynyk’s “bush league” tactics caused the left shoulder injury, alleged a furious Love, and there’s no telling at the moment how long he’ll be out with the Cavs moving on in the Playoffs.
According to Yahoo! Sports, prior to the Game 4 incident, Boston had steadily moved up Love’s so-called free agent wish list:
For as much as Kevin Love has publicly resisted the discussion of free agency this season, it has been on his mind. He has never been completely comfortable in Cleveland, with his role, nor his connection to those around him. Throughout the year, league sources say, one destination grew in possibility as his exit strategy: The Boston Celtics.
Boston has been no sure thing to lure Love, but it had a better shot than most had believed. If Love left the Cavaliers, the Celtics had closed the gap on the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources said.
The Celtics were waiting for July, and the chance to let coach Brad Stevens lay out Love’s expanded role in his system. General manager Danny Ainge wanted a chance to sell Love on a vision for surrounding him with complementary talent, on maximizing his popularity as New England’s next star. […] Within the Celtics, those defending Olynyk privately suggested on Sunday that “he’s sort of uncoordinated and awkward” and that played a part in the mishap. Eventually, someone with Boston will probably need to convince Love about that theory too. Love could be lost for Games 1 and 2 of the second-round series against either Chicago or Milwaukee – or longer – based on the results of an MRI exam in Cleveland.