Love is finalizing a buyout with the Cleveland Cavaliers which would allow him to hit the open market once he clears waivers.
BREAKING: The Cavs are finalizing buyout with Kevin Love, per @ShamsCharania.
— Cavaliers Nation (@WeAreCavsNation) February 16, 2023
“Sources told Hoops Wire the Warriors, Lakers and Trail Blazers may be other teams with interest,” Amico wrote.
The Lakers could make a move for Love, who played alongside LeBron James in Cleveland when the team made four consecutive NBA Finals, to bolster their frontcourt for a playoff run this season.
Love, 34, can still stretch the floor from the forward position, and he has plenty of postseason experience in his NBA career. The veteran forward fell out of the Cavs’ rotation this season, and he last played in a game on Jan. 24.
Cedi Osman and Dean Wade have been playing over Love in the Cavs’ rotation, but it appears that the three Western Conference teams believe he could be of use to them. Cleveland does have a deep roster with a lot of young talent, so it’s not surprising to see a veteran like Love phased out of the rotation.
This season, Love is averaging 8.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 38.9 percent from the field and 35.4 percent from beyond the arc.
A five-time All-Star, Love has taken a step back with his efficiency this season after shooting 39.2 percent from beyond the arc last season. Still, he could be a valuable piece for the Lakers if they decide to experiment with some bigger lineups with Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
Los Angeles made moves at the deadline to acquire Mo Bamba and Jarred Vanderbilt to bolster its frontcourt behind Davis, but Vanderbilt isn’t much of a threat from beyond the arc.
That’s where Love, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, could be of value. The Lakers have been one of the worst shooting teams in the NBA this season, ranking 26th in the NBA in 3-point percentage.
Once Love’s buyout with the Cavs is complete, James may go into recruiter mode to bring his former Cavs teammate out to Los Angeles to chase another title.