Kevin Love: 'I don't want to retire. I would like to keep playing'

Toronto Raptors v Miami Heat

Toronto Raptors v Miami Heat

Kevin Love’s 16th NBA season, his second in Miami, could end Wednesday night if the Heat can’t upset the Celtics.

However, Love isn’t done with the NBA. Here’s what the 35-year-old former All-Star and NBA champion told Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel.

“I don’t want to retire,” he said… “I would like to keep playing.”

“I remember when I was in Year 10, or just finished Year 10, and Kevin Durant had finished Year 11. We were at USA Basketball in Vegas at the Wynn, and we were, ‘Damn, even if we play 20 years, we’re like both already over the hill.’ So now in Year 16, the end is still a ways away, but certainly you can see it a lot more than even 10 years, 12 years in…

“So, yeah, these are just conversations and questions that happen. So I think my message to the guys was like, ‘Take advantage of the time we have together.’ Even last year, too, I felt like we did that and that run is something that will stick out in my mind forever. I think it will for all Heat fans and players that were a part of it.”

Love has a $4 million player option for next season that he almost certainly picks up. However, that’s not much to buy out if the Heat decide to go another direction with their roster or team building. Love was a valuable member of the Heat’s second unit this season, averaging 8.8 points and 6.1 rebounds in the 55 games he played (the most since his 2021-22 campaign in Cleveland).

Miami may see the value in keeping Love on the roster both as a veteran in the locker room and as a guy who contributed valuable minutes this season. However, the expectation in league circles is the Heat will look to take a home run swing, trading for a major talent to play with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Doing so could lead to major roster shifts, and Love could be part of that. If Miami moved on, other playoff teams looking for a solid veteran big could turn to Love for a season.

Love likely gets his wish and is back next season.

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