Early on Thursday, it was reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers and Kevin Love are working toward a buyout agreement.
BREAKING: The Cavs are finalizing buyout with Kevin Love, per @ShamsCharania.
— Cavaliers Nation (@WeAreCavsNation) February 16, 2023
Though there had been earlier reports that a buyout could happen, the news was likely a surprise to some Cavs fans. Now, it is known that Love himself actually requested the buyout just before the Cavs’ loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.
“Cavs power forward Kevin Love — the last remaining piece of the franchise’s title team — made a formal request for a buyout on Wednesday, hours before the team’s final game before the All-Star break,” Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com wrote. “Cleveland’s decision-makers, including chairman Dan Gilbert, will discuss that possibility amongst themselves and with Love’s representation over the next few days, sources tell cleveland.com.”
Love was recently removed from the Cavs rotation and hasn’t logged a minute of playing time since late January. Unsurprisingly, the lack of playing time apparently played a major role in Love’s decision to request a buyout.
“The situation has been difficult on Love, who began telling confidants recently that he was weighing the possibility a buyout, sources say, paving the way for him to become a free agent, find a bigger on-court role elsewhere and join another playoff team,” Fedor added.
When it comes to where Love could end up, reports have already linked him to the Miami Heat. The Heat look to be a playoff team in the East once again this season, but they definitely have some holes. One such hole is at the power forward spot.
— Heat Nation (@HeatNationCom) February 16, 2023
Though it’s unsure if he would be a starter with the Heat, he would surely help share the responsibilities at the position.
Thus far in the 2022-23 NBA season, Love is averaging 8.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. Clearly, he is no longer the All-Star talent that he once was, but it is also clear that he does not just want to be a veteran locker room presence for a team.
Given the fact that he was removed from the Cavs rotation, it’s fully understandable why he’d want to test the buyout market and find a new home. Once that does eventually take place, it will be the end of an incredible era of Cavs basketball.
Love was acquired by the Cavs following LeBron James’ decision to rejoin the team in 2014. He played a pivotal role in the team advancing to four straight NBA Finals and helped the Cavs win the 2016 NBA championship.