According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnorowski, Kevin Love has cleared waivers and plans to sign with the Miami Heat.
“After clearing waivers, Kevin Love plans to sign with the Miami Heat, his agent Jeff Schwartz of Excel Basketball tells ESPN,” Woj reported in a tweet.
Reports of Love’s interest in joining the Heat had been trickling out over the course of the last week.
On Saturday, February 18, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Heat were the “leaders” in the race to sign Love, after he was bought out by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“The Miami Heat have emerged as leaders to sign five-time All-Star Kevin Love after he completes buyout with Cleveland, league sources tell The Athletic,” Charania tweeted. “Interested teams believe Miami’s ability to offer a defined role and playoff positioning are leading factors.”
Back on February 16, Charania originally broke the news that Love was finalizing a contract buyout with the Cavs.
In the initial report, he labeled the Heat as suitors to land the five time All-Star.
“The Cleveland Cavaliers and Kevin Love are finalizing a contract buyout, with the Miami Heat expected to emerge as a suitor for the five-time All-Star should the sides finalize parting ways, league sources tell The Athletic,” Charania wrote.
Love played in 41 games for Cleveland this season, before he fell out of the rotation in recent weeks. He averaged 8.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 20 minutes per game. On the year, Love has shot 38.9% from the field and 35.4% from beyond the arc.
The 2016 NBA champ will likely fit in well with Miami. His ability to knock down 3-pointers should make things a bit easier for Bam Adebayo down low, and of course, championship experience is always valuable.
Cavs Wanted to Block Potential Love Move to Miami
It doesn’t sound that Love’s agreement to join the Heat is exactly what his former team was hoping would happen.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst previously reported that the Cleveland may have been working to prevent Love from doing so.
During an appearance on the February 17 edition of The Dan Patrick Show Windhorst discussed the NBA buyout market.
He told Patrick that he believed that Cleveland was trying to prevent Love from heading to Miami after a potential buyout.
“Certainly Miami would be a good fit because they need size and shooting,” Windhorst said. “I don’t know if the Cavs are going to allow that as part of the buyout. That’s part of what I think is under discussion.”
Heat Have Been In Contact with Russell Westbrook: Report
Love reportedly was not the only buyout candidate that Miami had shown interest in.
Russell Westbrook, his UCLA teammate has also been linked to the Heat. Westbrook, a former MVP, was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Utah Jazz ahead of the deadline. Since arriving in Utah, there’s been speculation that he’ll be bought out of his contract, though nothing has happened yet.
Wojnorowski recently reported that Miami is one of the teams that have been in contact with Westbrook.
“I’m told that Russell Westbrook has permission from the Jazz to go out and explore with potential buyout teams a role elsewhere that might fit,” Wojnarowski said on NBA Countdown. “He and his agent Jeff Schwartz have been spending this week doing that… Among the teams that they’ve communicated with: the (Chicago) Bulls, the (Los Angeles) Clippers, the (Washington) Wizards, the Miami Heat.”