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Kevin Love Back in Cleveland Next Season? Seriously?

Image courtesy of Zimbio

Image courtesy of Zimbio

It looked like a no-brainer last summer. With LeBron James returning home from Miami to Cleveland to play for the Cavaliers, the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in the 2003 NBA Draft, and a budding superstar in Kyrie Irving on the roster, winning now was the goal.

With All-Star Kevin Love looking for an out in Minnesota, adding veteran depth over—and a proven superstar to boot—just made sense, even if it meant shipping out Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 overall picks of the last two drafts to the Timberwolves.

To say things didn’t go as planned for Cleveland would be an understatement. The Cavs struggled throughout the first half of the season with chemistry, with tensions between James and Love reportedly a major source of contention. To make matters worse, it was James who was Love’s major recruiter.

Their issues had been buzzed about throughout the season, with testy tweets and passive aggressive comments fueling the gossip mill. But there was so more ambiguity in March when James put it on the line, saying of Love, “we’re not best friends.” That’s as close as “I hate that fucking guy” as you’re gonna get from LeBron.

Aggravating matters more was the loss of Wiggins, who was named this season’s NBA Rookie of the Year. Maybe he wouldn’t have helped the team “win now,” but he would have been a valuable asset for years to come. Whereas Love has been expected to flee after this season.

Um, or is he?

Just days ago speculation abound that put Love in Houston for the 2015-16 season and beyond, but according to the man himself, he’ll be back in Cleveland next season. Despite missing almost the entire playoffs with a shoulder injury (he will not return for the Finals) and the difficulties of the season, Love says he’ll be back in a Cavs’ uniform next year.

Maybe it’s about unfinished business? Or maybe things aren’t quite as bad as they’ve seemed from the outside?

“I had really wanted this, wanted to be part of this run. So, it’s something that I look at as an opportunity. I think all injuries are. I’m super happy for these guys, proud of these guys. And there’re times where I’ve felt down because of my shoulder, and they’ve been here to pick me back up. And that’s kind of how it’s been the whole year,” Love said in a recent locker room interview.

Or maybe he’s just being nice and blowing smoke, not wanting to be a distraction as the Cavaliers begin a Finals series to a heavily favored Warriors team. Either way, it’s nice not that he’s making waves and being a distraction, cause Cleveland can’t afford any distractions going on the road to face Golden State.

Seriously though, it’s really hard to imagine Kevin Love staying put. Either way though, we’ll know by June 30, the final date to exercise that opt out clause.

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