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Kevin Love to sign with Miami Heat after clearing waivers

Indiana Pacers v Cleveland Cavaliers

CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 2: Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers smiles before the game against the Indiana Pacers on January 2, 2022 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Lauren Bacho/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Kevin Love wanted minutes and he found them in Miami.

The Heat were the frontrunners to sign Love the second it was announced he had asked for a buyout from the Cavaliers. Now that’s about to be a reality, he will sign with the Heat once he clears waivers from the buyout his agent confirmed to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Love wanted minutes and a steady role, something he no longer had in Cleveland — he had not played in the team’s last dozen games — which led to his request for a buyout. The Cavaliers, Suns, Lakers and 76ers all talked to Love and his representatives, but Miami was always going to be a tough situation to beat.

The Heat have the minutes at the four to give — they have missed the presence of P.J. Tucker this season. Caleb Martin has been the Heat’s starting four for much of the season, with Jimmy Butler playing some minutes there as well, and behind those two a group of rookie Nikola Jovic, Max Strus, and Haywood Highsmith getting some run.

Love — a five-time All-Star, NBA champion and Olympic gold medalist — is not his peak self at age 34, but he is a better fit at the four than any of the Heat’s other options, and he gives Erik Spoelstra some flexibility to experiment with. Martin likely continues to start at the four for now, but Spoelstra could try starting Love and boosting the Heat bench by moving Martin there. However the rotation ultimately shakes out, Love should fit right in.

Expect him to be playing with his new team when play resumes after the All-Star break.