The only thing that can extend the appeal of this already exciting NBA offseason is a legitimate trade rumor.
Hoops fans, that's exactly what we have. Apparently, the dialogue between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers has become serious. It's beginning to look as if Timberwolves star Kevin Love might have a shot at joining LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in Cleveland.
Per Bob Finnan of The News-Herald, the Cavs are willing to part ways with No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins to lure Love to Cleveland.
Cleveland Cavaliers now willing to include Wiggins in Kevin Love trade offer http://t.co/93I94KhZmj— Bob Finnan (@BobCavsinsider) July 17, 2014
With a league source telling Tim Kawakami of The Mercury News that the Golden State Warriors haven't offered Klay Thompson in a potential deal with the Wolves, it seems more likely Minnesota would be willing to work with Cleveland.
Warriors source flatly denies a report that they are offering Klay Thompson to Minnesota. "It's not true," the source said minutes ago.— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) July 18, 2014
There's no questioning Love's talent. He averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists for the Wolves last season. The Cavs would have a legitimate and veteran Big Three in James, Love and point guard Kyrie Irving. James would be the elder statesman at 29 years old.
The move would symbolize an exciting present and future for the Cavs, but are those possibilities really worth giving away a prospect like Wiggins?
The 19-year-old has flashed superstar potential during his lone year at Kansas and during NBA Summer League play. He's an athletic freak who is also a skilled offensive player and potentially dominant wing defender.
In addition to the physical brilliance, Wiggins seemingly has the perfect temperament to be James' wingman. It truly feels like Wiggins can be the Scottie Pippen to LeBron's Michael Jordan.
That's a special possibility that the Cavs may regret passing on if they trade the talented teen. The Wolves are smart to drive a hard bargain for their star. While most believe the team doesn't want to lose Love without compensation after the season, it also doesn't want to take scraps in exchange for one of the game's best power forwards.
Timberwolves' owner Glen Taylor told NBA TV (h/t ESPN.com) the following: "We are going to look at everything that makes sense that would make our team better. But we are not going to move a superb player like [Love] without getting equal or more value back."
The plot thickens in this dramatic and eventful offseason.
It's only building the anticipation for what many expect to be one of the most epic campaigns and postseasons in recent memory.
Bulls Bolstering Their Backcourt?
The Cavaliers' biggest competition in the Central Division—and likely in the entire Eastern Conference—figures to be the Chicago Bulls.
Chicago has already signed Pau Gasol and international superstar Nikola Mirotic. The team made a draft-day deal to secure the services of sharpshooter Doug McDermott. Together, those three should give the Bulls the punch on offense they lacked last season.
There's also the return of some guy named Derrick Rose. When he's healthy, he's pretty good. He won an MVP or something a few years back.
Apparently, the Bulls aren't done plugging offensive gaps. Free-agent point guard Aaron Brooks is reportedly on the Bulls radar for the backup point guard spot. Per Aggrey Sam of Comcast SportsNet, the Bulls are targeting the 29-year-old veteran.
Bulls looking at PG Aaron Brooks: http://t.co/7sSAcUoS9H— Aggrey Sam (@CSNBullsInsider) July 18, 2014
Brooks could easily slide into the backup point guard role. In Tom Thibodeau's scheme, the role has proven to be fruitful for John Lucas III, Nate Robinson and D.J. Augustin. All three players used the opportunity as a means to a free-agent payday the following year.
Brooks could be next in line.
Ekpe Udoh Wants to Play For a Winner
Free-agent power forward Ekpe Udoh will reportedly make a decision on his future soon, per Sam Amick of USA Today.
Free agent big man Ekpe Udoh considering contenders, with decision expected this weekend. Was close to Clippers until they did Glen Davis.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 18, 2014
The long and athletic shot-blocker could be a valuable addition for a contender in need of a defensive presence off the bench.
Udoh is not a big-time scorer or rebounder. The 6'10" forward made just 40 percent of his shots from the field last season. And he pulled down only 6.6 rebounds per 36 minutes played. That's a pretty modest total for a power forward.
He did, however, block 2.6 shots per 36 minutes, so therein lies his potential value.
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