Cavs discussing contract buyout with Kevin Love

Kevin Love
Posted at 11:11 AM, Feb 16, 2023

CLEVELAND — It could soon be the end of an era as the Cleveland Cavaliers are discussing a contract buyout with veteran forward Kevin Love, sources have confirmed to News 5's Camryn Justice.

The Cavs and Love may be nearing the finalization of his contract buyout, according to initial reporting from The Athletic and ESPN.

Love has been out of the Cavs rotation for the past few weeks, last seeing playing time on Jan. 24. Dealing with a thumb injury, Love has been inactive or simply not been played for the past three weeks.

"We got healthy and I think J.B. [Bickerstaff] liked the rotation that we were going with and I think that's a part of it," President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman said last week. "Not easy for Kevin, I'm sure, and I've had conversation with him. He wants to play. I think he'll have an opportunity to play again this year but where we're at now I think J.B.'s really comfortable with the rotation that we have."

Although Love hasn't played, Love has been active at shootarounds, putting shots up and working with trainers each day. Now, he may, as Altman said, play again this year—just on a different team.

While Love aims to land on a team that can utilize what he believes he can still bring to the court if given playing time, those discussions are ongoing. Reports indicate that the talks are nearing completion, with the buyout numbers left to be negotiated, but could go back and forth in the coming days.

The Cavs recently signed veteran Danny Green, which could play into Love's departure as the Cavs have veteran and playoff leadership from another player, which is a major asset Love still has been providing the team.

Love has been on the Cavs for the past nine seasons after a mega trade in 2014 that send Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett from Cleveland and created the Big Three in Cleveland with Love, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James.

Since that time, Love has been selected to three All-Star Games and was a significant part of the 2016 Cavs Championship team, helping snap Cleveland's 52-year championship drought thanks to lockdown defense of Warriors star shooter Steph Curry in the final seconds of Game 7.

Over the years since the championship, members of the 2016 team have moved on to new teams or retired from the NBA, but Love remained in Cleveland, signing a four-year contract extension in 2018.

Dealing with injuries and frustration with being one of the only experienced players during the start of the rebuild has caused some rollercoaster moments with Love and the Cavs. He's been at the center of trade talks for years, but with a young core surrounding him and no deals made to send him elsewhere, Love eventually rose to the new challenge of the bench role.

In 2021, averaging 13.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists coming off the bench for the Cavs, Love was the runner-up for the Sixth Man of the Year.

While the contract buyout is not complete, Love's former teammate Larry Nance Jr. took to social media to show some love to Love amid the process.

Several teams, including the Miami Heat, would be interested in signing Love should the buyout finalize. No matter where Love ends up, he'll forever be a part of Cleveland history and will be remembered by Cavs fans as such.

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