Kevin Love is in line for the smallest role of his NBA career on a team coming off a 22-50 season, but he apparently doesn’t have much interest in leaving.
“There have been no talks with Cleveland on a buyout, nor is there any interest from Kevin in doing a buyout,” Schwartz told ESPN.
Love reportedly supports the idea of a trade, which the Cavaliers have periodically explored but found few solutions.
It’s not surprising to hear there is little trade interest in an often-injured 32-year-old (soon to be 33) big man who averaged 12.2 points per game last season for a bad team and is set to make $31.3 million next year. Love signed his four-year, $120 million extension after LeBron James left Cleveland, with the idea that he would anchor the Cavaliers’ new era.
Kevin Love reportedly isn’t interested in a buyout. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
A buyout would save the rebuilding Cavaliers some money and free up minutes for younger players while allowing Love to join a contender on a cheap deal, but Love doesn’t seem interested at the moment.
The Cavaliers have little use for Kevin Love
Love saw the fewest minutes per game (24.9) of his career last season while dealing with a calf injury. He might see even fewer minutes next year.
The Cavaliers’ rebuild has recently seen the team amass a group of talented big men, trading for Jarrett Allen and signing him to a $100 million deal, drafting the talented Evan Mobley third overall and, most recently, acquiring Lauri Markkanen on a four-year, $67 million sign-and-trade.
It’s hard to see the Cavaliers wanting more than two of Love, Allen, Mobley and Markkanen on the floor at any time, and the team will probably want to prioritize the growth of the younger three rather than Love. As far as building for the future goes, the only reason to play Love is to improve his trade value, but he’d have to play pretty well to warrant his price tag.
It all sets up for a classic buyout scenario, but Love could just want the money the team legally promised him. Or this could all just be a play for leverage in a future buyout negotiation.