The Miami Heat have emerged as leaders to sign five-time All-Star Kevin Love after he completes buyout with Cleveland, league sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Interested teams believe Miami's ability to offer a defined role and playoff positioning are leading factors.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 18, 2023
Miami has been linked to Love in recent days after it was revealed that he and the Cavaliers are working toward a buyout agreement.
BREAKING: The Cavs are finalizing buyout with Kevin Love, per @ShamsCharania.
— Cavaliers Nation (@WeAreCavsNation) February 16, 2023
Love was recently removed from Cleveland’s rotation after returning from injury, and his removal from the rotation seemingly led him to request a buyout from the team hours before its game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.
There had been some rumors that the five-time All-Star was a possible trade candidate, but no deal wound up taking place. Love has not appeared in a game for the Cavs since Jan. 24 against the New York Knicks.
Plenty of Heat fans have been clamoring for the team to sign Love, as he would fix some of Miami’s issues. First off, the one-time champion is an excellent rebounder (10.5 rebounds per game for his career). Miami lacks size in its frontcourt and ranks 27th in the league in rebounds per game. Part of that is due to starting Caleb Martin, who is listed at 6-foot-5, at power forward alongside Bam Adebayo.
It remains to be seen whether or not Love would start over Martin, but he would undoubtedly help with rebounding in any type of role.
The 34-year-old is also a solid shooter from deep. Though he dealt with a thumb injury earlier in the 2022-23 campaign, he’s still knocking down 35.4 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
As a team, the Heat shoot 33.4 percent from downtown, good enough for 28th in the league. Miami desperately needs some solid shooters on the roster, and Love would help in that regard.
At the All-Star break, the Heat stand in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with a 32-27 record. They are just a half-game behind the Knicks in sixth place.
Miami’s first game after the break will be a tough test against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 24. Only time will tell if Love is a Heat player by that point.