Cavs Star Kevin Love Drawing Buyout Interest From Top Contender

Kevin Love

Getty Images Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

When Kevin Love’s buyout with the Cleveland Cavaliers goes through, the Phoenix Suns could look to scoop up the five-time All-Star big man.

Love and the Cavs are finalizing a buyout agreement, per The Athletic. Love is earning $28.9 million this season but will likely look to sign with a contender where he can log some minutes after falling out of Cleveland’s rotation.

The Suns — fresh off trading for Kevin Durant — could be a fit, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

“A team in the Western Conference I’d keep an eye out for is the Phoenix Suns. The Suns have been doing some background research into Kevin over the last 24 hours,” Windhorst said. “And don’t forget — James Jones, the team president, was teammates with Kevin Love when they won the championship in 2016 with the Cavs. The new-look Suns have a roster spot, have a bunch of money they can still pay to free agents, so keep an eye on the Suns as a contender for Kevin Love.”

The Suns currently have the second-best title odds, coming in at +500 at FanDuel Sportsbook. They sit behind only the Boston Celtics, who are +270 to win the title.

Cavs May Not Let Love Sign With Miami

The first suitor that emerged for Love after news of a buyout nearing broke was the Miami Heat. However, Windhorst poured some cold water on that idea, saying that the Cavs could potentially keep him from going to Miami as part of the buyout agreement.

“There are two when you look right now. One would be the Miami Heat, obviously always a player in the buyout market,” Windhorst said. “They have two roster spots available and they are looking for shooting and size, which Kevin Love, if he’s healthy, can provide. But the issue might be whether the Cavs will allow him as part of the buyout agreement to go to an Eastern Conference team. Miami is a potential first-round opponent for the Cavs and that may be part of the talks as they try to come to terms.”

The Cavaliers are 38-23 and sit in fourth place in the East at the All-Star break. The Heat are in seventh place and have struggled recently, going 5-5 in their last 10 games. However, with players like Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo, the Heat are a clear threat for the Cavaliers, who haven’t won a playoff series since the 2017-18 season.

Cavs Did Not Anticipate Buyout of Love

Love has a lot of history in Cleveland but it’s clear the Cavs are going in a new direction, favoring younger, and currently more effective players in their rotation. That being said, general manager Koby Altman made it sound like Love was sticking around when asked about the possibility of a buyout following the trade deadline.

“I have not been approached by them at all and I don’t anticipate it either,” Altman told reporters. “Not one time since I’ve been here have they approached me about that. I think we’re asking Kevin to make another sacrifice this year to do what he’s doing right now, which is be a great teammate, stay positive every day, stay ready and work on your body, work on your shot, work on everything to be ready for when that opportunity comes next.”

Love is averaging career lows in minutes (20.0) points (8.5) and rebounds (6.8) but the younger Cavs are thriving as the 38-23, good for fourth in the East.

Read More