Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love has again stressed that his intention is to stay with the franchise beyond this summer despite being able to opt out.
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Love is currently sidelined due to a dislocated shoulder that he suffered in the first round of the playoffs, and the subsequent surgery ruled him out for the rest of the post-season.
While he admits that it is highly frustrating for him to sit on the sidelines in his first NBA Finals experience, he again reiterated that he plans to be in Cleveland at the start of next season.
“I had so much fun watching it because I want to be in a moment like that. I’d rather be out there helping those guys, and I saw a lot of places where I could help,” Love told ESPN.
“I’ve never wanted to be in a game more than that one.”
Asked specifically if that meant that he wanted to go again with the Cavs next year, he replied: “Yes. I want to win.”
Love has the option of opting out of his deal at the end of the year and leave before his final season with the Cavs with $16.7m remaining on his contract.
However, there is still the possibility that he opts out and negotiates a better deal with the organisation who could offer him a five-year contract. In contrast, he could test the market as an unrestricted free agent and see which other teams are interested, although they would be at a disadvantage by only being able to offer a four-year deal with less money.
While the narrative remains that he intends to return to Cleveland next season, that doesn’t necessarily translate into a commitment that he won’t opt out and assess his options. As a result, speculation will continue to run until July when the decision will have to be made.