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LeBron James 'frustrated' by his relationship with Kevin Love, according to report

The latest rumor: LeBron James has tried to reach Kevin Love, but he hasn't so far, and that could pull the two apart in the summer.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Love could consider leaving the Cavaliers after this season because his relationship with LeBron James continues to deteriorate, according to Frank Isola of the Daily News.

Love has a player option for next season, so he could opt out and test the waters. He hasn't looked happy with his role on the court this season, and if that discomfort is indeed compounded with a bad off-court relationship with his teammates, it wouldn't be shocking to see Love move on after just one season in Cleveland.

So let's look at this rumor more closely.

Why it makes sense

James has been described as someone who wants to have a personal relationship with his teammates, while Love is considered to be a much more reserved person ever since his Minnesota years. This lends credence to the reports about how incompatible their personalities are. Unless one of the two adjusts to the other, they might never be more than coworkers.

The two have exchanged passive-aggressive barbs for a while, with James using social media to send messages and Love recently saying Russell Westbrook should win MVP over LeBron. Obviously there's been a communication breakdown of some kind. With James being the best player in the league and the hometown hero, Love will be the one leaving if the animosity really is too much.

Even if their relationship hasn't or won't deteriorate to that point, it's possible Love simply doesn't feel any kind of sentimental attachment to his new team. He's said he's not best friends with James, and James recently expressed the same sentiment by leaving Love out of a team picture he posted on Instagram. If Love really thinks James is not on his corner and there's no feeling of camaraderie between him and his teamamates, why stay in a place where he feels unwanted when he can leave and join another contender?

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Why it doesn't make sense

Love has said he wants to remain a Cavalier many times. He might not be close friends with other players on the team but he has not been a distraction, even taking a few fourth-quarter benchings in stride. The public disagreements are not ideal when trying to build a lasting partnership, but they aren't fatal problems.

Unless things behind the scenes have been significantly worse than they appear in public, Love won't be going anywhere. After years of futilely trying to make the postseason, he's on a team that boasts the best player in the world, one of the best point guards and a solid supporting cast. What James posts on Instagram won't trump that.

The Cavaliers also have his Bird rights, meaning they can offer more money than any other team. That is a good enough reason to try to make things work. Love could opt out and sign a five-year max deal and have financial security for the majority of his prime. Or, he could opt in, wait for the salary cap to explode thanks to the league's new TV deal and explore his options then after giving James and Cleveland another shot.

Whether he decides to use his player option, returning to Cleveland makes the most sense for him, since the Cavaliers can offer more money and arguably a better chance to win a title than any other team that could afford Love.

Likelihood of happening (3/10)

For Love to potentially leave a lot of money on the table, part ways with a contending team and take a hit to his image, the relationship with James would have to be downright toxic. Nothing suggests they are at that point yet, so it really doesn't seem like Love will change teams this offseason.