SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Kevin Love says he chose the Miami Heat.
Love said Sunday that he will sign with the Heat for the rest of the season if he clears waivers. It’s a big addition to a Miami team looking for promotion in the Eastern Conference before the postseason begins.
“Miami, yes,” Love said in a text message to the Associated Press.
Also on Sunday, the Heat finalized plans to add another big man to free-agent center Cody Zeller, before the team convened in Miami to begin practice after the All-Star break, according to a person familiar with the matter. , the deal is expected to close.
Love’s decision was first reported by ESPN.
6.9-foot forward and the Cleveland Cavaliers agreed to the terms of the acquisition On Saturday, he ended nine years with the team that helped him win the 2016 NBA Championship.
In some of his 15 seasons with Cleveland and Minnesota, Love averaged 17.2 points and 10.5 rebounds. He averaged 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in 41 games this season in Cleveland, his career-low 20 minutes per game.
That prompted acquisition talks, and once the talks were over, Love chose Miami.
Heat Center’s Bam Adebayo ‘Gives us another veteran who has played the playoffs, another guy who knows what it takes to win,’ said Heat Center’s Bam Adebayo .
Love is a five-time NBA All-Star, Olympic champion, and FIBA World Cup champion in USA Basketball, and his combination of size and 3-point shooting ability seems like a perfect fit for the heat system.
The Heat came out of the All-Star break in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, going 32-27 and five games behind fourth-placed Cleveland. The top four teams in each conference will have home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, while the top six teams in each conference will play-in to avoid his tournament to determine the 7th and 8th seeds.
Miami will be Zeller’s third NBA city. He has appeared in his 494 games with Charlotte and Portland, averaging 8.5 points and 6.0 rebounds. The 6-foot-11-inch center was his fourth pick in the 2013 draft.
Cleveland AP Sports Writer Tom Withers contributed to this report.
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