With a roster comprised largely of young talent that isn’t quite ready to contend, the Cleveland Cavaliers are clearly in the midst of the rebuild that began when LeBron James left for the Lakers in 2018. Given the fact that Kevin Love is 32 and thus doesn’t really fit into the franchise’s future timeline, many thought the veteran forward would be eager to agree to a buyout on the remaining two years of his contract with the Cavs so that he could continue his career elsewhere and potentially compete for a title while he still has some air in his tires. However, that isn’t the case.
Love, who has two years and $60 million remaining on his contract, isn’t interested in a buyout at all, according to his agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports, via ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. “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 would potentially be interested in a trade from Cleveland, as that would allow him to carry his current contract over to a new team. However, the Cavs obviously haven’t found any deals that they like up to this point. Given his age, injury history, and the size of his contract, the trade market for Love is very low, and the Cavs aren’t interested in trading away an additional asset just to move Love.
So, it sure seems like he will enter the 2021-22 NBA season as a member of the Cavs, and if that’s the case his role will likely be limited. The Cavaliers want to make sure their young guys get ample on-court opportunity, and as such the team has already spoken to Love about having a diminished role moving forward, according to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic. Love has started in every game that he has played since joining the Cavs in 2014, but perhaps a shift to a reserve role is in the cards.
Basketball-wise, Love would probably be happier somewhere other than in Cleveland, but he clearly doesn’t want to walk away from $60 million, and it’s tough to blame him there.