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According to oddsmakers via Bovada, the Cleveland Cavaliers are the favorites (-250) to retain five-time All-Star Kevin Love. The Brooklyn Nets have the second-best odds (+800) of trading for the 32-year-old player, followed by the Los Angeles Clippers (+1000) and Philadelphia 76ers (+1000). Five days ago, Jeff Schwartz, Love’s agent, said he has no interest in negotiating a contract buyout with the organization.
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.
The Cavaliers have periodically explored trading Love — a scenario he supports — but have been unable to find a deal they’re willing to execute, sources said. The arrivals of three significantly younger frontcourt players in the past year — including center Jarrett Allen, No. 3 overall pick Evan Mobley and forward Lauri Markkanen from the Bulls — could impact Love’s minutes with the Cavaliers.
An NBA source told me the Cavs were making progress toward a buyout for Love, who has two years and $60 million left on his contract. The source admitted it could fall apart and it’s not close to a done deal.
The Warriors have been flirting with the idea of adding Kevin Love to their roster for years, and that courting might turn into a full-court press this month. 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.
“Obviously, with Draymond, it’s a love-hate relationship, but we’ve become actually pretty close friends over the past few years,” Love said. “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. “He’s first-team All-Defense and has been the Defensive Player of the Year for a reason, so I think we can elevate each other’s game.”
The 32-year-old Cavaliers star might be coming off his worst statistical season, but he’s going to be a big name on the trading block this summer or even on the buyout market. If Love is bought out, he figures to be a prime target of the Nets, who scooped up Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge the same way this past season.
For a five-time All-Star who sounds as if he realizes his time as a franchise star is done and his time in Cleveland could soon be over as well, Love would be a fit in Brooklyn. “Yeah, I understand going into my 14th season that being that No. 1 guy, playing 35 minutes, getting 20 touches a game is probably in my rearview,” Love said Tuesday. “But how I can affect the team, and feeling how I’m feeling now, I know that I can do it at a very high level. I don’t try to put a ceiling or limit on myself at all. So long as I’m feeling good, I know I’m going to play good.
The Cavs would trade Love if they could, but the two years and $60 million he has left on his contract is just too much for another team to take on, based on what they’ve seen from him over the past three seasons. “Being around these guys, I think it helps elevate my mindset and my game in a big way,” Love said. “That doesn’t really faze me. I’m 13 years in now and I’ve heard it all. All I can do is go out there, chase the game, let everything fall into place, bust my ass and see what I can do for this team.”
Moving on from Love isn’t easy. His trade value has cratered, currently seen leaguewide as a negative asset because of his age, injury history, massive contract (owed $60 million over next two years) and public outbursts. Opposing teams want the Cavs to give up at least a draft pick or a young player in a Love swap. The Cavs aren’t in position to do that.
For some in the front office, the idea of a waive-and-stretch [with Kevin Love] is a non-starter. In this scenario, Love would be gone while still counting against the salary cap at $12 million per season for five years. That’s a burdensome financial hit that would impact team building and salary flexibility moving forward;
Sources say there have been no conversations with Love about a buyout either. The sense I get: Love would have to initiate those talks while also giving up some salary to make it worth it. Another factor that looms: Love’s contract will be expiring following this season, giving him more trade value.
A buyout would require Kevin Love to give money back. But sources tell cleveland.com that topic hasn’t been discussed. Maybe that changes this offseason. Love’s number being so high is a hurdle, of course.
Ultimately, both sides might agree to a buyout. Love has about $60 million remaining on his contract over the next two years. Blake Griffin, another Jeff Schwartz client, gave back $13 million of the $75 million owed to him to get out of Detroit. If Love wants to give back $10 million or $15 million, the Cavs might accommodate him and send him on his way. They can stretch the money owed to him, and it certainly wouldn’t be the first time Dan Gilbert has paid people not to work for him.
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October 16, 2021 | 12:01 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: The Cleveland Cavaliers are signing 7-foot-6 center Tacko Fall to a two-way contract, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Fall earned deal out of Cavaliers training camp.
Joining Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson’s ‘All the Smoke’, the three-time All-star talked about how things started when he was still up and coming into the league. “Our relationship was definitely strained at the end. I think I held onto that rookie year, not starting — how he didn’t really play me, and would play me a couple of minutes here. I think I took that personally for a while when I was younger and kind of held that grudge. So, I think that affected me a little bit.”
Williams further admitted that at certain times, it was his fault for being a stubborn one. “I was definitely a little s*** at times — a little prima donna. I also, I knew how coach Sloan was, and I think I kind of would poke the bear just to see his reactions, too. It was kind of like a little back and forth thing; s*** that I definitely wouldn’t do now, knowing what I know now. But I always respected coach Sloan; I learned a lot from him. My best years were definitely in Utah. I got a lot of love and respect for him as a coach and as a person.”
The 37-year-old former point guard finally revealed that he fixed what was broken with him and the coaching icon a few years back before its death. “I always knew I needed to reach out and apologize. He was definitely regressing a little bit. And our conversations were kind of, they actually got heated a couple times — well he got heated a couple times. It was almost like he was right back in the moment when I pissed him off. But I was happy I was able to get a chance before he passed, to talk with him and apologize for being a little s***.”
October 16, 2021 | 11:44 am EDT Update
JD Shaw: As expected, the Nuggets are waiving veteran big man Tarik Black, per source. Black was on an Exhibit 10 contract. Denver is also expected to waive Davon Reed and Giorgi Bezhanishvili. Both players inked Exhibit 10 contracts with the team.