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Kevin Love Not Interested in Cavaliers Contract Buyout amid Rumors, Agent Says

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 28, 2021

AP Photo/Ron Schwane

Kevin Love is not interested in being bought out by the Cleveland Cavaliers, agent Jeff Schwartz told 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 Wojnarowski.

Those comments come after cleveland.com's Terry Pluto reported that one NBA source said Love and the Cavs were "making progress" toward a buyout; however, the Cavs and other NBA sources have "strongly denied it."

The veteran big man has two years and $60 million remaining on the four-year, $120 million extension he signed with Cleveland in 2018.

Love, who's entering his 14th season and is just days away from his 33rd birthday, has been the subject of trade and buyout rumors in recent years. There could now be more truth to them than ever before.

The Cavs re-signed center Jarrett Allen and selected center Evan Mobley with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 draft. On top of that, Cleveland acquired 24-year-old power forward Lauri Markkanen from the Chicago Bulls in a three-team trade Friday.

The 7-foot Markkanen has a similar stretch-big skill set.

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In four seasons, he's averaged 2.2 three-pointers made per game and shot 36.6 percent from three. Love, meanwhile, has averaged 1.7 trifectas made and shot 37 percent from beyond the arc.

Love played a key role in the Cavs winning their first championship in 2016, and he was once one of the NBA's premier bigs. But injuries limited the five-time All-Star to just 25 games last season, and when he did play, his 12.2 points per game were his lowest since his rookie season with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2008-09. His 7.4 rebounds per game were a career low.

While Love could still be a useful player for a contending team as a big who can spread the floor, he doesn't fit with the Cavs' timeline.

Moving on from Love would give Allen, Mobley and Markkanen more opportunity, plus it would put more focus on Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Isaac Okoro as new faces of the franchise. However, if the Cavs are going to part ways with Love, it appears it won't be through a buyout. 

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