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AP sources: Love, Cavaliers finalize buyout as he eyes Miami

Cavaliers Pelicans Basketball
Cavaliers Love Basketball
Posted at 1:37 PM, Feb 18, 2023

Kevin Love and the Cleveland Cavaliers have completed a buyout of his contract, and the five-time All-Star is strongly considering a move to the Miami Heat, two people with knowledge of the matter said Saturday.

The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Love will still have to clear waivers before he can sign with a new team.

Other teams are expected to try to talk to Love, who is making $31.3 million this season, before he finalizes a decision, one of the people told the AP.

Love, 34, has been with Cleveland since 2014 and was the last remaining link to the 2016 team that won the NBA title and ended the city’s 52-year pro sports championship drought.

This season, he's averaging career-lows of 8.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 20 minutes per game. But over parts of 15 NBA seasons with Cleveland and Minnesota, Love has averaged 17.2 points and 10.5 rebounds. He’s also a 37% career shooter from 3-point range, and helped USA Basketball win both Olympic and FIBA World Cup gold medals.

Love is in the final year of a $120 million, four-year extension he signed in 2018. He did not play in any of Cleveland's last 12 games before the All-Star break and his representatives approached the Cavaliers about the buyout.

Miami created the flexibility to absorb at least one player in a buyout situation by trading away Dewayne Dedmon to San Antonio earlier this month in exchange for cash considerations. That essentially opened a roster spot for at least one move.

Cleveland entered the break fourth in the Eastern Conference at 38-23. Miami is seventh in the East at 32-27, a half-game behind No. 6 New York.