Free agent forward Kevin Love plans to sign with the Miami Heat after clearing waivers, his agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports, confirmed to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Sunday (February 19).
"Love’s expectation is that he can play a sizable role in the Heat’s frontcourt rotation as they push into the Eastern Conference playoffs."
Love, 34, also reportedly spoke to the Philadelphia 76ers about a potential deal before making his decision, according to Wojnarowski. The veteran big man and the Cleveland Cavaliers agreed to a contract buyout, Cavaliers president of basketball operations Koby Altman announced on behalf of the team on Saturday (February 18) in a statement obtained by ESPN.
"The admiration and gratitude we have for him will ultimately land his jersey in the rafters of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse," Altman said. "We thank Kevin for his impact and wish him nothing but the best, knowing that he has solidified his place in the hearts of Cavaliers fans and this organization forever."
Love, an All-American both at the high school and collegiate level, was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves at No. 5 overall in the 2008 NBA Draft and quickly emerged as one of the league's best rebounders, leading all NBA players in 2011, having also won the NBA Most Improved Player award, before being acquired by the Cavaliers in 2014. The former UCLA standout was selected to the All-Star Game five times (2011, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2018) and played a crucial role in Cleveland's 2016 NBA championship run.
Love is currently averaging 8.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 41 games during the 2022-23 NBA season.