The Cleveland Cavaliers and Kevin Love are in talks about a contract buyout, with the Miami Heat expected to emerge as a suitor for the five-time All-Star should they finalize their agreement.
The Cavaliers have been the home for Love’s NBA career, who has played for the team during the last nine years. Last season he was part of the Cavaliers’ 2016 championship team and made it to consecutive All-Star games in 2017 and 2018. Earlier this season Love battled with a thumb injury, which allowed him to be removed from the Cavs’ rotation in recent weeks. His buyout is pending as he seeks a better playing opportunity elsewhere.
In 2014, the Cavaliers acquired Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves, who had drafted him with the No. 5 pick in the 2009 draft. Love was LeBron James’ first target when he returned to Cleveland. James personally called Love and recruited him to join together in Cleveland in pursuit of a championship. Love is the last remaining piece to the Cavs’ 2016 title team. He agreed to a four-year, $120 million extension in the weeks after James left for Los Angeles in 2018. He is earning $28.9 million this season in the final year of that deal.
Miami has an open roster spot and has been canvassing the market for a big man, sources said. The Heat could offer Love a reserve role with ample minutes behind All-Star Bam Adebayo.
Kevin Love is averaging 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting 35.4 percent from 3-point land this season in addition to averaging 1.1 steals and 2.3 assists per game.