After drafting Evan Mobley with the No. 3 overall pick and agreeing to re-sign Jarrett Allen to a five-year, $100MM contract, the Cavaliers appear to have locked up their frontcourt of the future, prompting Jason Lloyd of The Athletic to suggest that if Kevin Love is going to remain in Cleveland, he should be prepared to accept a role off the bench.
According to Lloyd, the Cavaliers have already spoken to Love about his minutes and role moving forward. The first step will be getting the veteran power forward healthy following the calf strain that has nagged him for much of the year, but even if that calf injury is no longer an issue in the fall, Cleveland will have to closely manage Love’s minutes, writes Lloyd.
While a buyout could ultimately be in both sides’ best interests, those discussions have not yet taken place, according to Lloyd, who suggests Love would likely have to be willing to give back at least $12-15MM for the Cavs to consider buying him out. He’s owed just north of $60MM over the next two seasons.
Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:
- Rookie Pistons forward Isaiah Livers, who was selected 42nd overall in last Thursday’s draft, continues to recover from the right foot surgery that ended his college career, but remains optimistic that he’ll be fully cleared around the start of the 2021/22 season, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. “For five-on-five, I expect to be fully cleared, hopefully, at some point in October,” Livers said. As Beard observes, Detroit will likely play it safe with Livers and have him start the season with the Motor City Cruise in the G League.
- Although the Heat might not get much out of Victor Oladipo in 2021/22, their minimum-salary agreement with the two-time All-Star will put them in good position to re-sign him next summer if he earns a raise, since they’ll hold his full Bird rights, as Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald details. Oladipo is recovering from surgery on his quad tendon and the Heat aren’t expecting him to be ready to return until sometime in 2022.
- After agreeing to a five-year, $90MM deal with the Heat as a restricted free agent, sharpshooter Duncan Robinson said on The Long Shot podcast that he entered the week focused on getting a deal done with the only NBA team he has ever played for. “Miami ultimately, for me, felt like it was going to be the best situation because it was something I was really familiar with,” Robinson said, per Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. “I felt like I had built equity with an organization, the coaching staff, the front office, the fans even, the city.”
- Despite their past squabbles on and off the court, new Sixers center Andre Drummond doesn’t anticipate teaming up with Joel Embiid will be an issue, he told reporters today. “For me, there was never any real beef,” Drummond said (Twitter link via Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com). “The way we play, sometimes we talk. I don’t think it goes any further than that. … We’re on the same team now.”