Coach Bickerstaff Offers 4-Word Reason for Kevin Love’s Surprise Cavs Buyout

JB Bickerstaff Cleveland Cavaliers

Getty Head Coach JB Bickerstaff of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Less than a week has transpired since the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ surprising buyout of franchise icon Kevin Love. As such, statements and rationales continue trickling in from all corners of the Cavs-sphere.

The latest is from head coach JB Bickerstaff, with the Cavs skipper offering a four-word explanation behind Love’s buyout.

“Kevin wants to play,” Bickerstaff told reporters Wednesday.

Bickerstaff noted that he was cognizant of the fact Love wanted playing time. Unfortunately for the player, though, the Cavs hit a groove in February, peeling off a seven-game win streak that saw Love earn a coach’s decision DNP in each contest.

“I understand that, he wants to be on the floor,” Bickerstaff continued. “He can help teams, help a team, he believes. So, I think it’s that frustration of not being able to participate with your teammates that you could feel in a good sense. He helped bring this organization to a place that it hadn’t been. To be able to win a championship anywhere, to be able to go to four straight finals, that’s something that should definitely be praised and be recognized and appreciated.”

Bickerstaff concluded by explaining it’s all love between the former champion and the organization.

“There’s a ton of respect for all of the things that you have to through in order to get there. There’s so many sacrifices you have to make. In my time with him here, the sacrifices he made for the younger guys and for the better of the team, like those things can’t go unmentioned and not appreciated. So, you know, there’s nothing but respect and appreciation for him. Again, it’s an opportunity for him to move on to a place to where he feels he’ll be able to contribute and have a role consistently. And, that’s what he was looking for,” Bickerstaff finished.

Following his buyout, Love signed with the Miami Heat, a conference rival and potential playoff opponent for Cleveland come April.

Cavs ‘Considering All Possibilities’ in Kevin Love Replacement

Love’s departure leaves a roster spot open in Cleveland.

According to Sam Amico of Hoops Wire, the search for a Love replacement is well underway in the Cavs’ front office. While Amico didn’t provide any potential targets, he did provide sources from which Love’s replacement might come.

“League sources expect the Cavs to fill the spot vacated by Love,” Amico wrote on February 20. “It very well could be another big man, which the Cavs were already seeking, sources said.”

Amico pumped the brakes on a big-time signing, however.

“As for who may fill the spot, it’s not likely to be anyone splashy. A source told Hoops Wire the Cavs will consider all possibilities, to unsigned veterans to G League call-ups,” Amico finished.

There are several experienced big man options on the free agent market, including LaMarcus Aldrige and Carmelo Anthony, should Cleveland opt for that route.

Danny Green Reveals Lakers Snub

While Love’s departure will surely be felt in the locker room, the team did well to add seasoned playoff veteran Danny Green via buyout before the All-Star Break.

But speaking on his podcast Inside the Green Room, Green explained why he opted against joining the Lakers, hinting at his lack of belief in the purple and gold’s playoff chances.

“I don’t think they had the opportunity or the same opportunity with all the wings they brought in and all the people they brought in,” Green said. “I don’t think they were able to say you’ll be in a good opportunity to be on the floor and that we’re for sure going to make the playoffs. So it was very up in the air and it’s a very urgent time for them. They have to win now and they have a lot of pressure doing that in a short amount of time.”

Once upon a time, the Lakers might have been an alluring destination, given LeBron James and Anthony Davis’ presence in Southern California. But with the Lakers sitting third-to-last in the West and the pressure at an all-time high, it’s no surprise Green opted for Lake Erie over the Lakers.