Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love said Thursday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals affirmed his desire to return to the team next season.
Love, who has been sidelined since Game 4 of the first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics with a dislocated shoulder, has maintained that he would like to return to the Cavaliers. Speculation has nevertheless persisted that he could opt out after this season to test the free-agent market.
Love, who was acquired in an offseason trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves, has one year and $16.7 million remaining on his contract. He has until June 30 to opt out.
Love told ESPN that watching Game 1, a 108–100 Golden State Warriors overtime victory, gave him another reason to want to return to Cleveland.
“I had so much fun watching it because I want to be in a moment like that,” Love said. “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.”
Before coming to the Cavaliers, Love spent six seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves without reaching the playoffs.
- Mike Fiammetta