The 2023 NBA trade deadline saw a lot of deals get made across the league, but two teams that ended up staying fairly quiet at the deadline were the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat. Despite both teams being heavily involved in rumors, neither squad decided to make any huge moves, much to the confusion of their fans. However, it looks like both will be aggressive in the buyout market, and they may be set to do some business together in regards to Kevin Love.

The veteran big man Love has gotten cut out of the Cavs rotation recently, and is reportedly nearing a buyout with the Cavs that would see him leave the team he has been with for the past eight-and-a-half seasons. It’s been tough to see Love fall out of favor with Cleveland lately, but he still could be a valuable contributor for a team needing frontcourt depth.

One team that desperately needs frontcourt depth is the Heat, especially after they traded away Dewayne Dedmon in one of their only trade deadline moves. Miami has needed help behind Bam Adebayo all season long, and it looks like they may have keyed in on Love as the answer for their struggles. And if Love does get bought out, here’s why the Heat need to sign him.

The Heat need to sign Kevin Love

All season long, the Heat have struggled with their frontcourt depth. They have two stars in Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, but behind them, there isn’t much. Caleb Martin has held his own as a starter, and Max Strus can help out at small forward, but Butler has been playing out of position as the team’s power forward for much of the season.

Even then, Butler and Adebayo don’t really have a true backup as is. Duncan Robinson is technically the backup for Butler, but he’s really a small forward, and has been horrible when he’s played this season. And then behind Adebayo, there was Dedmon, who was never really an effective backup for Adebayo before getting traded.

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Part of the allure with Love is that he can fill in at both spots in a pinch. With both Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley in Cleveland, the need for Love to be a center simply wasn’t there. He had been playing primarily as a power forward, but his ability to hold his own at both spots is precisely what the Heat need.

It goes without saying, but Love isn’t the player he once was. He’s still effective for the most part, as his numbers aren’t awful this season (8.5 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.9 APG, 38.9 FG%) but it’s clear he won’t fix all of Miami’s issues. The problem is that nobody on the buyout market will fix every issue a team has, but Love can solve a couple of things that have been bugging the Heat.

For starters, Love is still a solid perimeter shooter, which is where he’s taken the majority of his shots this season. He’s hitting 35.4 percent of his threes this season, which helps make up for the fact he’s hitting just 46.7 percent of his shots from inside the arc. As a team, Miami is one of the worst shooting squads in the league, as their 33.4 three-point percentage is 28th in the league. This is a huge need for them.

Beyond Love being able to fill-in for Butler and Adebayo, he has remained a solid interior defender. The Heat thrive on playing strong defense to make up for their occasional lack of offensive production, and Love would be able to slot in and hold his own on defense. As the playoffs draw near, that could be the difference between winning and losing for the Heat.

It’s tough to find another player who could hit the buyout market that would have as big of an impact as Love could have for the Heat. They have a very obvious need in their frontcourt, and Love fills the two spots they are really struggling to find help at. Not to mention, his playstyle as a perimeter shooter and interior defender is exactly what they need.

Nothing is official right now, but it sounds increasingly likely that he will get bought out by the Cavs and then signed by the Heat. This is a move the Heat must make after a quiet deadline, and it’s great to see that they are closing in on a deal here. There is still work to be done, but if Miami manages to land Love, it could end up being a game-changing move for the Heat this season.