Rumors about where Kevin Love will play next season roll on and likely won't stop until he puts pen to paper on a new deal. The sense for many weeks is that the Cavaliers All-Star forward will look around the league if not flat out leave Cleveland.
True or not, one person in the know stated he expects Kevin Love in Cleveland next season. That person? Kevin Love.
Out most of the postseason with a shoulder injury, Love met with reporters on Sunday. From the Associated Press:
Love can opt out of the one year remaining on his contract by June 30 and either negotiate for a new deal with the Cavs or test the market as an unrestricted free agent. And has been the case all season, the three-time All-Star, whose future has been the subject of speculation almost since the day he was traded to the Cavaliers, indicated he has no plans to leave.
''I expect to be suiting up by Game 1 of next year,'' he said.
For the Cavs?
''Yes, sir,'' he said.
Does this mean we can stop wondering where he'll play next season? Nah, not really.
Now, he may be telling the truth. Kevin Love might actually plan to stay in Cleveland either by opting into his $16.7 million contract for the 2015-16 season or signing a long-term deal. Some believe this is what will happen. If he stays - and probably even if he doesn't thanks to that LeBron James fellow-, the Cavaliers enter next season as the favorite in the East.
Then again, what else could he say? Love is surely smart enough not to say anything potentially controversially with the Cavaliers on the verge of starting the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors.
Love went from being one of the top 10 players in the league with Minnesota to something of a role player in Cleveland. While David Blatt will now have his first true off-season as an NBA coach to figure out how best to use his roster, it seems unlikely tons will change. Big man Tristan Thompson's play improved with Love out -- and so did Cleveland's defense. Thompson is expected to receive a fat new deal this summer.
Love arguably becomes the No. 1 free agent target this summer if he does indeed plan on looking around. For now, he says Cleveland Rocks, or at least that he plan on staying. We'll see what happens over the next month. This certainly won't be the end of the rumors.