AP sources: Love picks Miami, Heat set to sign Zeller

Cavaliers Heat Basketball
Posted at 12:39 PM, Feb 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-19 12:39:50-05

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Kevin Love has chosen to sign with the Miami Heat for the remainder of the season once he clears waivers, a person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Sunday.

And a second person said the Heat also are finalizing plans to add another big man in free agent center Cody Zeller, with that deal expected to be completed before the team gathers in Miami to begin practice following the All-Star break. Both people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because neither contract had been signed.

Love's decision was first reported by ESPN.

The 6-foot-9 forward and the Cleveland Cavaliers agreed to buyout terms on Saturday, ending his nine-year run with the team that he helped win the 2016 NBA championship.

RELATED: Cleveland Cavaliers reach buyout agreement with forward Kevin Love

Over parts of 15 NBA seasons with Cleveland and Minnesota, Love has averaged 17.2 points and 10.5 rebounds. He averaged career-lows of 8.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 20 minutes per game in 41 games, almost all as a reserve, this season for Cleveland and didn't play in the team's final 12 games before the All-Star break.

That prompted buyout talks, and once they were done, Love chose Miami.

"It would give us another vet, another guy who's been through the playoffs, another guy who knows what it takes to win and get to where we want to go," Heat center Bam Adebayo said.

Love is a five-time NBA All-Star, an Olympic champion and FIBA World Cup champion as part of USA Basketball, and his combination of size and 3-point shooting ability would seem to fit perfectly into the Heat system.

Miami will become Zeller's third NBA city. He has averaged 8.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in 494 games with Charlotte and Portland. The 6-foot-11 center was the fourth pick in the 2013 draft.

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