Possible Lakers target Kevin Love not interested in contract buyout with Cavaliers

Kevin Love is one of the most prominent names in the league who could be available as a buyout candidate.

The 32-year-old big man is on a Cleveland Cavaliers team that is attempting to start a new direction with young center Jarrett Allen, young power forward Lauri Markkanen and 2021 No. 3 overall pick Evan Mobley vying for minutes.

Love has two years remaining on a four-year, $120 million contract and hasn’t been both healthy and good enough to live up to that salary the last few seasons.

Speculation mounted about the Cavaliers buying out his contract to shed some salary and allow Love to choose his destination and compete for a ring, a stage Cleveland is not at in their rebuild process.

Cleveland did that last year with Andre Drummond after not finding a deal for his $28 million salary, which led to Drummond’s buyout and minimum deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.

If Love and Cleveland did agree to a buyout, the Lakers would make plenty of sense given the current lack of big men on the team, not to mention his 3-point shooting and connection with LeBron James. Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard are on the roster, while Marc Gasol still isn’t a lock to return.

However, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Love is not interested in surrending all of his salary:

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.

Wojnarowski mentioned Cleveland’s plans to find a trade for Love, but similar to Drummond’s process last season, nothing is materializing:

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.

No team likely wants to take on Love’s salary given his inconsistent health issues that limit his production. It’s a high-risk scenario. It’ll be interesting to see how long this dilemma drags and if a buyout is inevitable.

It’s why the Lakers want to keep their 15th spot on the roster open in case something around the league happens throughout the regular season.

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