Kevin Love will sign with the Miami Heat after negotiating a buyout with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.
Love confirmed in a Twitter post that his plan is to sign with the Heat after clearing waivers, with the hope of earning minutes with another Eastern Conference contender.
The 34-year-old was in the midst of his ninth season as a member of the Cavaliers, and was the last remaining link to their one and only championship win in 2016.
After playing exclusively as a starter since the 2010-11 season, Love was moved into a reserve role this past campaign, making only seven starts from his past 115 regular season games.
He is averaging a career-low 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds this season while shooting 38.9 per cent from the field, but remains a respectable three-point shooter at 35.4 per cent from deep.
Love's dip in form saw him removed from the Cavaliers' rotation altogether in the lead-up to All-Star weekend, ultimately signalling the end of his time in Cleveland.
Yes sir my brother!!! Thank you for letting me bounce all of this off of you. Heat Nation let’s go!!! https://t.co/VAnH9mRU9D— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) February 19, 2023
Miami currently have eight players this season averaging at least 25 minutes per game – Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry, Caleb Martin, Max Strus, Victor Oladipo and Gabe Vincent.
Of that group, Adebayo is the only true big-man, and while Butler plays above his size, Love provides a skill-set the Heat roster is lacking.
Always desperate to have at least three shooters on the floor at any time – which star duo Adebayo and Butler are not – Miami have been playing small lineups as they do not have a single player taller than six-foot-five who is also averaging at least one made three per game.
The six-foot-eight Love averages 1.7 made threes per game over the course of his whole career, and when extrapolated to starter's minutes this season, Love is averaging 3.0 makes on 8.6 attempts while grabbing 12.3 rebounds per 36 minutes.
He is also the NBA leader in defensive rebounding percentage among players averaging at least 20 minutes per game, snatching down 29.8 per cent of all opponent misses while he is on the floor.
Currently sitting seventh in the East with a record of 32-27, Miami will hope Love provides a spark down the stretch to keep their streak of three straight playoff appearances alive.