CLEVELAND – Kevin Love has informed the Cleveland Cavaliers that he will not exercise the player option in his contract for the 2015-16 season.
The move means Love will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
A league source confirmed to FOX 8 that Love decided to forgo the final year of the four-year contract he signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves before the 2012-13 season.
The three-time NBA All-Star was scheduled to make $16.7 million next season.
By declining the option, the 26-year-old Love is now free to sign with any NBA team for up to $18.9 million in base salary.
Love said in May that he expected to return to Cleveland next season.
During his season-ending press conference, Cavaliers general manager David Griffin said he expected both Love and LeBron James to decline the final year of their respective contracts to explore free agency.
Griffin also stated the team would like to re-sign both players.
Love is still recovering from surgery in late April to repair his injured left shoulder, which he dislocated in a collision with Boston Celtics’ forward Kelly Olynyk during game 4 of the first round Eastern Conference playoff series.
He missed the remainder of the Cavs’ run to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the eventual champion Golden State Warriors in six games.
The Cavaliers still hold Love’s (Larry)Bird rights, meaning Cleveland can offer him a five-year maximum contract, while other suitors can only offer four-years.
The team is also waiting on a decision from guard J.R. Smith, who has until 11:59 p.m. on June 25 to exercise or decline his $6.5 million player option for 2015-16.