Heat’s Kevin Love Was Heading Toward Big Problems in Cleveland: Insider

Kevin Love Cavs-Clippers

Getty Kevin Love celebrates a made basket during a game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the LA Clippers.

The pun is definitely low-hanging fruit here, but the fact remains that it has been a veritable love fest in South Beach amid the Miami Heat‘s move to bring Kevin Love in following his buyout with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“You can tell that it’s a top-tier, high-class, high-character organization and that all starts at the top. So for me, at the end of the day, it was a pretty easy decision,” Love said earlier this week of choosing the Heat over other teams.

Meanwhile, Erik Spoelstra was all but salivating over the five-time All-Star’s addition on Thursday, saying, “I feel like he’s had like a half dozen monster games against us… You have a high IQ player that has a great feel; he knows how to either be off the action and space the floor or in the action. Either way, it creates a dynamic and stress on an opposing defense.”

While optimism about Love’s existence in the Heat ecosystem abounds, the situation between the 34-year-old and his former team was apparently trending in the opposite direction before the buyout occurred.

No Love Lost Between Heat’s Kevin Love & His Old Team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Per Insider

How the Cavs & Kevin Love Reached the Point of a Buyout Request – Sports4CLE, 2/16/23Dave Bacon and Chris Fedor discuss Kevin Love's request for a buyout from the Cavaliers. Watch Sports4CLE Monday-Friday live at 4 pm ET on Cleveland.com. You can leave a voicemail for the show at (216)200-6650.2023-02-16T23:00:27Z

Chris Fedor just dropped a post-mortem on Love’s final days with the Cavs for Cleveland.com. And, according to the longtime beat writer, the club’s decision to part ways with the veteran had as much to do with the bad direction things were heading in as it did any desire to reward him for his years of service.

Apparently, ill feelings remain even now.

“Sources say Love’s relationship with Cleveland’s decision-makers is currently strained — a byproduct of how recent events unfolded. The Cavs were starting to grow concerned about his unhappiness festering, especially since there were no plans to re-insert him into the lineup,” wrote Fedor.

“With about two months remaining in the regular season, the ticklish situation could have led to another infamous blowup. It’s one reason the Cavs were so willing to honor his buyout request. His unquantifiable impact on the organization over the years is another.”

Love averaged 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in 20.0 minutes per game with the Cavs before losing his spot in Cleveland’s rotation. He had been a Sixth Man of the Year candidate in 2021-22, logging a 14-7 line in a featured role off the bench.

Kyle Lowry Continues to Be a Question Mark

Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley dropped his list of “every team’s biggest question” with just a handful of games remaining until the NBA hits postseason mode. And where the Heat are concerned, he ultimately landed on injured/underperforming (embattled?) floor general Kyle Lowry.

Wrote Buckley:

[The Heat have] struggled with a lot of things, but maybe none has done more damage than the rapid decline of point guard Kyle Lowry.

The six-time All-Star and Miami’s third-highest-paid player has posted some of the worst numbers of his career, including a paltry 12.3 player efficiency rating (league average is 15). It’s possible the 36-year-old is simply cooked, but the Heat can only hope that isn’t the case. They need his organizational skills at both ends provided he can get healthy and snap out of this funk.

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