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Despite this being Valentine’s Day weekend, Love is no longer in the air in Cleveland. The Cavs and veteran forward Kevin Love are expected to part ways as soon as this afternoon.
Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, Love is in the process of finalizing a buyout with Cleveland.
The 34-year-old Love is in the final year of a four-year, $120 million extension. He’s earning $28.9 million this season, but will sacrifice a portion of that salary in exchange for his release.
Love hasn’t played since January 24th after falling out of Cleveland’s rotation. He’s been a healthy scratch for the team’s last 12 games and is having a career-worst year statistically. Love’s averaging just 8.5 points 6.8 rebounds across 41 games.
Multiple sources have suggested that he’ll be a popular name within the buyout market for playoff contenders. No doubt that’s true, but anyone signing Love with hopes that he’ll be a difference maker should temper their expectations.
This Is A Different Version Of Kevin Love
Despite championship experience (he won a title with the Cavaliers in 2016), Kevin Love is a shell of his former All-Star self. He hasn’t made an All-Star team since 2018. His rebounding numbers have declined for four-straight seasons and he’s scoring less than 10 points per game.
Oh, he’s also two years removed from a season in which he missed more than 50 games. The last several years have included thumb, calf and foot injuries. At 34-years-old, those types of injuries don’t just go away.
Defensively, he’s a liability that can no longer stay in front of younger, quicker bigs. Offensively, he’s no longer the scoring and rebounding machine who had a “30/30” game (30 or more points and 30 or more rebounds) for Minnesota. Instead, he parks just outside the three point line, rarely sniffing the paint.
And that’s a sad sight to see. Because after being traded to Cleveland in 2014, Love became known for his three point shooting. A big man who could space the floor and wouldn’t dare be left open. That’s no longer the case. He’s shooting just 35% from long distance this season.
There’s a reason the playoff-bound Cavaliers have had Love glued to the bench, opting to play “household names” like Dean Wade and Cedi Osman instead.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF
One CommentLeave a Reply
The Cavs should have kept Wiggins instead of trading for Love!