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Kevin Love again reiterates he’ll be back with Cavaliers: ‘I want to win’

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After feeling helpless while watching his teammates come up short in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, losing to the Golden State Warriors 108-100 in overtime, Kevin Love again reaffirmed his public stance that he intends to be back with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

When asked directly if he wants to be back in Cleveland next season, Kevin Love bluntly stated, “Yes, I want to win,” according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.

Love, sidelined since the first-round of the playoffs since suffering a shoulder injury, admitted it was incredibly tough not to be out there on the court contributing.

“I had so much fun watching it because I want to be in a moment like that,” Love said after the game. “I’d rather be out there helping those guys, and I saw a lot of places where I could help.

“I’ve never wanted to be in a game more than that one.”

Uncertainty has surrounded Love’s future with the Cavaliers, and for good reason. The forward can opt-out of the final year and a $16.7 million payout on his current deal and test free agency. Despite several bumps in the road along the way, including several high-profile incidents that appeared to indicate he and LeBron James never managed to forge a relationship, Love consistently has insisted he intends to be back with the Cavaliers one way or another.

When asked why his future in Cleveland remains such a source of speculation, Love said it’s the nature of the beast.

“It’s just the way the world works now. People talk so much and might tell themselves a lie so much they start to believe it,” he said. “From there, the narrative starts to change. I haven’t changed my narrative. I’m going to keep supporting these guys, and we’ll be talking to Cleveland after the season.”

As noted by Shelburne in her report, Love can opt-out of his deal by June 30. But that does not necessarily mean his exit from Cleveland is certain. Love can renegotiate a new contract with the Cavaliers as easily as he could sign with another team.

And yet, given the perception that Love appears to be an odd-man out — James’ backing of making Tristan Thompson a “Cavalier for his whole career” while remaining silent on Love on more than one occasion bolsters this suspicion — Love can say he plans on staying in Cleveland until he’s blue in the face. But until he’s in a Cavs jersey next season, it’s just talk.