Since joining the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014 and winning an NBA championship two years later, Kevin Love has become somewhat of a staple for the Eastern Conference franchise. However, with his age and injury history, combined with the Cavs’ latest moves in the frontcourt, the five-time All-Star might be nearing an end with the organization.
That leaves Love with two major options going forward. The Cavaliers could trade away his massive, $30 million per year contract or try and negotiate a buyout with the 32-year-old forward. Based on the latest information from ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the second of those two options seems to be off the table.
Wojnarowski reported on Saturday that Love “has no interest” in negotiating a buyout on the two years, $60 million left on his current deal. Love’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, also shared that there have been no talks between his client and the Cavaliers on that particular move.
“There have been no talks with Cleveland on a buyout, nor is there any interest from Kevin in doing a buyout,” Schwartz told ESPN.
Wojnarowski confirmed that the Cavaliers have explored trying to trade the 32-year-old for some time, but have ultimately been unsuccessful. Love is also interested in that possibility, but the organization hasn’t found a deal that they would be willing to go through with, per the ESPN insider.
Staying in Cleveland would spell trouble for Love, who already saw his role diminished during the 2020-21 season. The Cavaliers have also brought aboard multiple frontcourt players that the front office and coaching staff seem committed to developing in the next few years.
Cleveland acquired restricted free agent forward Lauri Markkanen in a sign-and-trade on Friday with the Chicago Bulls. He’ll join a group of center Jarrett Allen, who recently signed a five-year, $100 million extension, and No. 3 overall pick Evan Mobley in what’s become a crowded Cavaliers frontcourt. Having those three players available will leave Love without much room to contribute on the court in a major way.
Love averaged 12.2 points and 7.4 rebounds in a career-low 24.9 minutes last season as he struggled with a calf injury. Over the last few years, injuries have hampered the five-time All-Star an altered the trajectory of his career. His playing days are still far from over, but he’s definitely entered a new stage of his time in the NBA.
Love could still change his mind on a buyout over the coming weeks or even after the season begins. Time will if the Cavaliers meet him halfway and end things with the 2016 champ amicably.