Kevin Love won’t be playing in the NBA Finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers as he recovers from shoulder surgery, but the power forward does believe that he’ll be back with the Cavs next season to try again.
Love has the option to end out at the end of the season, but when asked about next season in his first public comments since the surgery, Love said he thinks he’ll be playing for the Cavaliers on opening night next season.
“I truly haven’t even thought about it, but as I mentioned, I expect to be suiting up by Game 1 of next year,” Love said.
When asked a follow-up question regarding if he meant playing for the Cavaliers, he answered “Yes, sir”.
The Cavaliers’ run to the NBA Finals without Love is just another wrinkle into the confusing relationship between the two parties. Do the Cavaliers feel they’re better off without him? Does Love want to go somewhere else after playing third wheel all season?
The business answer would be to opt-in and collect his $16.7 million next season with Cleveland. With the TV deal coming into play the following year, it’s likely that the salary cap will jump and give Love the opportunity to make more money, rather than signing a max contract for four or five years this year.
But Love didn’t say whether he’d be playing on the last year of his deal or the first year of his new contract. He just said he’d be there.