(CTN News) – The Associated Press has learned that five-time All-Star forward Kevin Love has discussed the possibility of a buyout with the Cleveland Cavaliers after being removed from the rotation, a person familiar with the matter told the newspaper.
He’s in the last year of a $120 million deal.
A person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because negotiations are ongoing said that the 34-year-old has not played in the last 12 games, and his representatives approached the Cavaliers regarding the buyout.
A spokesperson for the team told The Associated Press that nothing has been finalized at this point, and both sides are expected to engage during the All-Star break.
Love joined Cleveland in 2014, and has been one of the NBA’s most versatile big men since that time.
As such, he was a key part of the team’s championship run in 2016, the city’s first pro sports championship since 1964.
Kevin Love buyout request was first reported by The Athletic.
A thumb injury slowed play Kevin Love earlier in the season, and he was unable to play as well as he had earlier this year. As a result of the recent return of forward Dean Wade and guard Ricky Rubio from injuries, Love has seen his minutes shrink. Recently, he has been omitted from the rotation completely.
The situation for Love became cloudier when the team signed veteran forward Danny Green after he became available through a buyout agreement.
In Wednesday night’s loss at Philadelphia, Green made his debut during abKevin Love sence once again as he sat out.
In a statement last week, Cavaliers president of basketball operations Koby Altman said that he had not spoken to Love or his agents about a buyout. He also said that he expected the veteran to play a role on the team again at some point this season.
Earlier this week, Coach J.B. Bickerstaff said something very similar, complimenting Love on his ability to continue to be a successful leader and teammate.
Love has not played since the 24th of January. In spite of the fact that he has been active, he has missed two games because of back spasms.
He has not played in any of Cleveland’s last eight games.
While he’s averaging career lows in points (8.5) and rebounds (6.8), Kevin Love may be able to catch on with a playoff-contending team that is looking for an experienced player to give them an edge.
With Cleveland, he advanced to four consecutive NBA Finals in a row.
Since 2008, Kevin Love has averaged 17.2 points per game and 10.5 rebounds per game. Prior to being traded to Cleveland, he spent six seasons with Minnesota.