END OF AN ERA. Kevin Love (left) parts ways with the Cavaliers after nine seasons.
Cleveland Cavaliers Twitter page
The final remaining member of the Cavaliers’ 2016 NBA championship team, Kevin Love leaves Cleveland to join the Heat
Kevin Love plans to sign with the Miami Heat once he clears waivers, he confirmed Sunday, February 19, on Twitter.
The Cleveland Cavaliers bought out the final year of Love’s four-year, $120 million contract on Saturday, allowing him to sign with another team.
Tristan Thompson, Love’s former Cavaliers teammate, tweeted he had talked to Love and learned the five-time All-Star was headed to Miami. To that, Love responded, “Yes sir my brother!!! Thank you for letting me bounce all of this off of you. Heat Nation let’s go!!!”
Love was the final remaining member of Cleveland’s 2016 NBA championship team but had fallen out of the rotation and sat on the bench the past 12 games. The Athletic reported Saturday that Miami had a “defined role” for the 34-year-old Love.
He reportedly also talked with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Love averaged 8.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 41 games (three starts) in his ninth season with the Cavaliers.
He owns career averages of 17.2 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 853 games (662 starts) for the Minnesota Timberwolves (2008-14) and Cavaliers.
Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman issued a statement after Love’s buyout.
“Kevin represented the organization and the city of Cleveland with the utmost charm and professionalism during his nine seasons in Northeast Ohio,” Altman said.
“He also embodied everything a franchise would want in a player, and the admiration and gratitude we have for him will ultimately land his jersey in the rafters of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. … He has solidified his place in the hearts of Cavaliers fans and this organization forever.”
The Heat (32-27) will return from the All-Star break with the No. 7 playoff position in the Eastern Conference, a half-game behind the New York Knicks for the final guaranteed postseason spot. – Rappler.com