I can give you 60.2 million reasons Kevin Love is not looking for a contract buyout.
After the three-team trade that brought Lauri Markkanen to Cleveland, rumors about the Cavaliers talking buyout with Love started to surface but were immediately shot down by the team. Now Love’s agent reached out to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN to emphasize that Love is not talking about or even thinking buyout.
Five-time All-Star forward Kevin Love has no interest in negotiating a buyout on the two years and $60 million left on his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, his agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports, told ESPN on Saturday.
“There have been no talks with Cleveland on a buyout, nor is there any interest from Kevin in doing a buyout,” Schwartz told ESPN.
A buyout usually involves a player taking a reduction in pay to get off of one team to sign with another (for example, Kemba Walker taking a buyout with the Thunder to sign with the Knicks). If Love doesn’t want to take a haircut on the money he is owed, there’s no deal to be struck.
The more likely scenario for this season is that the Cavaliers try to include Love in some kind of trade. However, considering his massive salary compared to his contributions, other teams are asking for sweeteners in the form of draft picks or young players, something the Cavaliers are not willing to surrender. It is unlikely a trade is found (at least until next offseason, when Love would only have one year left on his contract).
Where Love fits in the rotation as a stretch four on a Cavaliers’ team with Markkanen and just drafted No. 3 pick Evan Mobley — both of whom are stretch fours/small-ball five who will get a lot of run — remains to be seen. Love appeared in only 25 games for the Cavaliers last season due to injuries, averaging 12.2 points and 7.4 rebounds a game when he did get in. Love wanted to play for Team USA this summer in the Tokyo Olympics but was not healthy and in shape to do so.
The bottom line, Love will continue to cash checks from the Cavaliers