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BREAKING: Miami Heat plan to sign Kevin Love and Cody Zeller, per reports

The Heat add to a frontcourt that sorely needed depth.

Charlotte Hornets v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Cody Zeller and Kevin Love both plan to sign with the Miami Heat this week, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and the AP’s Tim Reynolds reported Sunday.

Love’s expectatation is to “play a sizable role in the Heat’s frontcourt rotation as they push into the Eastern Conference playoffs,” per Wojnarowski.

Love and Zeller mark Miami’s first two non-rookie additions since the summer of 2021 — when they acquired Kyle Lowry, Markieff Morris, PJ Tucker and Caleb Martin.

Love, 34, averaged 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in 20 minutes, shooting 35.4 percent from 3-point range (4.8 attempts) and 88.9 percent from the free-throw line in 41 games this season. He and the Cleveland Cavaliers agreed to a buyout on Saturday, so he is expected to clear waivers on Monday.

Zeller has not played since last season, when he appeared in 27 games with the Portland Trail Blazers. He averaged 5.2 points and 4.6 rebounds in 13.1 minutes, and the 30-year-old’s posted averages of 8.5 points and 6.0 rebounds over his nine-year career. Miami held a workout for Zeller last week.

The Heat, who had two open roster spots heading into Sunday, added to a frontcourt that desperately needs depth. They previously had one playoff-eligible big behind Bam Adebayo in Omer Yurtseven, who’s in the midst of recovering from an ankle injury he suffered in the preseason.

The terms of the contract Love and Zeller plan to sign — whether they’re sign the minimum (the most likely), bi-annual exception or the mid-level exception, all of which are available — have not yet been disclosed. Miami is expected to stay below the $150.3 million luxury tax regardless.

Assuming both deals get finalized on Monday, a minimum contract for either would warrant a ~$517K 2022-23 cap-hit; the subsequent cap-hit figures for the BAE and MLE would be ~$3.18M and ~3.11M, respectively.

When they’re fully healthy, the Heat can either start Love next to Adebayo or slot him as a stretch-4/5 off the bench; Miami possesses enough defense around Love and Zeller to make-up for any shortcomings they may have. Though Zeller, who’s not a natural floor spacer, works best as the presumptive backup-5, filling in the second-unit along with Caleb Martin (if he goes back to the bench), Haywood Highsmith and Victor Oladipo, among others.

These transactions also might indicate that they may be unsure of Yurtseven’s on-court impact when he returns after the All-Star break and that Oladipo — who’s also missed time recently with an ankle injury — could be close to returning, since they didn’t add an additional guard.

Either way, the Miami Heat essentially dealt Dewayne Dedmon plus a 2028 second-round pick to the San Antonio Spurs for Love and Zeller.

Things could be worse!

This is a breaking news story. Stay tuned for updates.