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Tyronn Lue on Kevin Love’s future: ‘Oh, he’s going to be here’

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If Tyronn Lue has his way, despite all the conjecture and rumors indicating perhaps otherwise, Kevin Love will be back next season to help the Cleveland Cavaliers defend its NBA title.

The Cavaliers head coach stated his case regarding Love’s importance to the team during an appearance Wednesday on ESPN’s “Mike & Mike” radio program, pointing out that despite his struggles against the Warriors, Love enjoyed a great postseason overall.

“Oh he’s going to be here. I mean, without Kevin Love, we wouldn’t have gotten to the Finals,” Lue said, via Dime Mag. “You know, he had a great series against Detroit, a great series against Atlanta, a great series against Toronto. You know, with the way Golden State plays, and the positions they put you in, it was just a tough series.”

Love’s postseason stats legitimize Lue’s view to a certain extent. The forward averaged 14.7 points, a decent output considering he’s the third option at best on offense. He also averaged of 8.8 rebounds per game, highlighted by a nine-point, 14-rebound performance in the Game 7 victory over the Warriors.

Lue did keep that in mind while praising Love’s performance in Game 7, especially his big stop on Stephen Curry at the end of the game.

With all that in mind, it’s clear how Lue feels about Love remaining in the fold next season.

“So Kevin Love is going to be here, we want him here, and he’s a big part of what we want to do going forward.”

Even with everything Lue said to endorse Love’s importance to the Cavaliers, expect trade rumors to continue. Love is slated to make over $21 million next season. If the Cavaliers hope to reload for another title run — assuming James stays put, which he has given no reason to assume otherwise — the big money owed to Love may contribute to him to becoming a Cavs roster casualty.

Perhaps even more relevant, his on-again-off-again relationship with LeBron James — the two have never seemed able to get on the same page to any extent — may tip the scales in such a way that he’s playing elsewhere next season.

In other words, Lue may want Love back, but that decision may not be his to make.