After seven years with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kevin Love could be headed to a new home this offseason, with the Golden State Warriors among the first in line.
"There is growing sentiment around the league that Love will negotiate a buyout with Cleveland and sign a veteran-minimum contract with a contender, with one of the options being the Warriors," Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Simmons added the Warriors could put on a "full-court press" to add Love after years of interest in the forward.
The five-time All-Star has two years and about $60 million remaining on his contract in Cleveland, but the organization could look to move on after he played just 25 games in 2020-21.
A buyout could allow Cleveland to focus on its rebuild around the young core led by Collin Sexton, Jarrett Allen, Darius Garland and others. The team waived Andre Drummond last season after shutting him down in February.
Love, meanwhile, would have the opportunity to join a better team without worrying about cap restrictions. Drummond signed with the Los Angeles Lakers on a minimum deal last year while Blake Griffin joined the Brooklyn Nets after his buyout with the Detroit Pistons.
The Warriors' interest also makes sense considering their financial limits heading into next season with Stephen Curry ($45.8 million), Klay Thompson ($38 million), Andrew Wiggins ($31.6 million) and Draymond Green ($24 million) all taking up significant cap room.
On the court, Love could provide the team with another offensive weapon to take pressure off Curry.
Love averaged just 12.2 points per game in 2020-21, but he has averaged 18.0 points per game over his career while shooting 37 percent from three-point range. He has proved he can be a valuable contributor on an elite team, helping the Cavaliers win the title in 2016 alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
The forward is also set to play on the United States Olympic roster, a team that also features Draymond Green.
"Obviously, with Draymond, it’s a love-hate relationship, but we’ve become actually pretty close friends over the past few years," Love said, per Simmons. "I love how he competes, his mind for the game, his intangibles, how he leads the break. He passes, he plays defense, and it seems like he’s always in the right spot."
Green could use this opportunity to recruit the veteran to Golden State as the squad tries to return to the postseason.