JULY 6: The Heat have made it official, issuing a press release to announce their new deal with Love.
JUNE 30: Veteran power forward Kevin Love is returning to the Heat on a two-year contract, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. The second year will include a player option (Twitter links).
The Heat are using their Non-Bird rights to re-sign Love, which will result in a $3.7MM cap hit for next season, the Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang tweets. Miami could have gone as high as $3.84MM to retain Love, so they’ll get a little cap relief if the $3.7MM figure is correct.
In either case, it’ll be a bargain for a five-time All-Star and 34-year-old rotation player. After reaching a buyout with the Cavaliers, Love appeared in 21 regular-season games with the Heat, including 17 starts. He averaged 7.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists, though the 37% career 3-point shooter struggled from long range (29.7%).
Love played 20 postseason games with Miami, including 18 starts, and produced an average of 6.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 17 minutes. His 3-point shooting perked up to his usual level (37.5%).
While it remains to be seen how the rest of the Heat’s roster moves shake out, Love will likely be a starter or key second-unit player once again for the defending Eastern Conference champions.