Heat’s Kevin Love To Decline Player Option

Miami Heat power forward Kevin Love intends to decline his $4 million player option and become an unrestricted free agent, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.Kevin Love, Heat, NBA

That said, “both sides are enthusiastic about negotiating a new deal in the opening days of free agency,” Wojnarowski wrote.

Love turns 36 in September. He averaged 8.8 points and 6.1 rebounds in 55 appearances for the Heat this past season, shooting 34.4% on 3-pointers.

“The 2016 NBA champion, five-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA Second Team selection has played 16 NBA seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Heat, whom he signed with midway through the 2022-23 season after agreeing to a buyout with Cleveland, where he won that 2016 title and spent more than eight seasons,” Wojnarowski wrote.

The Heat are expected to run it mostly back with last season’s roster, though word is, they are aiming to make at least small changes around the edges. They could potentially go after bigger names, as they do nearly every offseason.

The Heat reached the Finals in 2022, falling to the Denver Nuggets. They were eliminated from the first round of the playoffs by the eventual champion Boston Celtics this year.

While Love is opting out, Heat star Jimmy Butler is eligible for a contract extension — though it appears Butler won’t sign one with the Heat (or any other team).

The Sixers were interested in acquiring Butler, who played 55 games for them in 2018-19. According to NBA reporter Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia was prepared to give Butler a max extension.

However, it appears Butler will remain in Miami and continue his partnership with Bam Adebayo, who is signing a three-year extension with the Heat worth $166 million. 

Butler averaged 20.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.3 blocks in 60 games in 2023-24 while shooting 49.9% from the field, 41.4% from beyond the arc and 85.8% from the free-throw line.

He carries career averages of 18.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.4 blocks with the Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, Philadelphia Sixers and Heat. He’s made five All-NBA teams and five All-Defensive teams.

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