Cleveland Cavaliers confirmed on Saturday that Kevin Love’s contract has been fully bought out.
Five-time All-Star is seriously thinking about joining the Miami Heat, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation on Saturday. Love must still clear waivers before he can sign with a new team, so the sources talked to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
Koby Altman, the president of basketball operations for the Cavs, also mentioned that his jersey would eventually be retired in Cleveland along with the buyout news.
Kevin Love enjoyed a stellar tenure with the Cavaliers that featured great on-court experiences, four trips to the NBA Finals, and an NBA Championship in 2016, according to Altman. Kevin spoke on behalf of the group and the city of Cleveland with Over his nine seasons in Northeast Ohio, he displayed the finest charm and professionalism.
He also exemplified everything a team would desire in a player, and because of our admiration and thanks for him, his jersey will eventually hang in the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse rafters. Knowing that Kevin has permanently cemented his place in the hearts of Cavs supporters and this organisation, we appreciate him for his contribution and wish him the best.
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Before Love makes a decision, other clubs are anticipated to attempt to contact him, who is making $31.3 million this season, one of the sources told the AP.
Love, 34, has been a part of Cleveland since 2014. He was the final surviving member of the 2016 squad that won the NBA championship, ending a 52-year pro sports championship drought for the city.
He is now averaging 8.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 20 minutes per game this season, all career lows. Love, however, has averaged 17.2 points and 10.5 rebounds while playing for Cleveland and Minnesota through portions of 15 NBA seasons. Also, he has a 37% career 3-point shooting percentage and helped USA Basketball win gold at the Olympics and the FIBA World Cup.
Love signed a $120 million, four-year deal in 2018, which he is currently in the fourth year of. Before the All-Star break, Cleveland played 12 games without him, and after that, his agents approached the Cavs about a buyout.
By sending Dewayne Dedmon to San Antonio earlier this month in return for money, Miami gained the ability to accept at least one player in a buyout scenario. In essence, that freed up at least one roster space for movement.
At 38-23, Cleveland was fourth in the Eastern Conference going into the break. With a record of 32-27, Miami sits seventh in the East, one game behind No. 6 New York.