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Lakers free agency rumors: Kevin Love says he'll be a Cleveland Cavalier next season

Kevin Love sounds like staying with the Cavaliers is still his plan this summer.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Love free agency rumors are running wild as the Cleveland Cavaliers prepare for the NBA Finals and he rehabs his injured shoulder. The potential free agent power forward gave off the impression he intends to stick around LeBron James and company during shootaround. Love expects to be ready for Game 1 of next season, and when a member of media asked if that meant with the Cavaliers, he responded with a "Yes, sir," reports Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

Love was primed to form a "big three" with LeBron and Kyrie Irving, but his absence through the playoffs comes at a crucial time for all parties involved. For Love, it strips him of an opportunity to play on the biggest stage after spending his entire career missing the postseason in Minnesota. For the Cavaliers, the absence an All-Star caliber player like Love could be the difference between a championship and a disappointing finish to the year.

Several reports have leaked indicating Love will opt-out of his $16.7 million contract with the Cavaliers and become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the destinations that have been linked to Love throughout the season, and he is expected to "look" at LA as an option.

The Cavaliers may not be keen on losing Love -- who they traded No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins for -- for nothing as a free agent. Both Cleveland and Kevin might find themselves in a strange position, as Ken Berger of CBS Sports recently wrote when updating the situation within the Cavaliers:

In the end, the Cavs know this: If Love balks at their five-year max offer this July, the rise of Tristan Thompson and their trip to the Finals has proved that they can survive without him. However, giving up the No. 1 pick in the draft for a player who leaves town is far from ideal. Also, despite the Cavs' success without Love, the numbers are clear that they're a better team with him on the floor.

Love has until June 29 to make a decision regarding his future, and it sounds like no one knows what comes next for the UCLA product. This is but another small update, featuring a player saying the only thing he can really say in this situation, until the real action begins at the start of free agency on July 1.

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