NBA: Kevin Love reaches buyout deal with Cavaliers

Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers was in the final season of a four-year contract with US$8.5 million (S$11.3 million) remaining. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON - Kevin Love, a five-time All-Star forward who helped Cleveland win the 2016 National Basketball Association title, reached a contract buyout agreement with the Cavaliers allowing him to join another NBA club.

The Cavaliers announced on Saturday that they had made the deal for the departure of the 34-year-old American, the longest-tenured member of the team who is now in his ninth Cavs campaign.

“Kevin Love had an outstanding run with the Cavaliers,” said Cavaliers president of basketball operations Koby Altman, who indicated Love’s number would one day be retired by the club.

“We thank Kevin for his impact and wish him nothing but the best, knowing that he has solidified his place in the hearts of Cavaliers fans and this organisation forever.”

Love, the NBA’s top rebounder and Most Improved Player in 2011 with Minnesota, has played 489 games for the Cavs, with averages of 15.7 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists.

In 41 games this season, he has averaged 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds.

Love, who played on the 2012 US Olympic gold-medal squad of NBA stars, would need to clear waivers before he would be free to sign with another NBA club.

He was in the final season of a four-year contract with US$8.5 million (S$11.3 million) remaining.

The Miami Heat are expected to be among the teams interested in signing Love, who sat out the Cavs’ final 12 games before the All-Star Game break. Cleveland went 9-3 in that span.

The Cavaliers stand fourth in the Eastern Conference at 38-23, five game behind pace-setter Boston. AFP

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