One thing is for certain—the Cleveland Cavaliers are certainly the NBA’s most interesting team this offseason.
Of course, it all started with LeBron James returning home with his well-penned Sports Illustrated essay (told to Lee Jenkins), and it continued with James Jones and Mike Miller continuing the exodus up north of former Miami Heat players.
Cleveland now finds itself embroiled in updated rumors every day regarding Kevin Love and Ray Allen.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the latest rumblings around the league.
Chris Haynes of Comcast SportsNet Northwest provided an interesting tidbit to the swirlings around Love:
Cavs G/F Andrew Wiggins has not been made available to Wolves or anyone, multiple league sources tell @CSNNW. They're not budging right now.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 19, 2014
Well, that changed quickly.
What started as pure speculation after James signed with Cleveland reached fever pitch when ESPN's Chris Broussard reported that the Cavs were willing to include Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett in a potential deal for the Minnesota superstar.
It’s easy to see why it was such an enticing idea for Cleveland. We are talking about a city that hasn’t won a championship in a major sport since before the Super Bowl even existed and an NBA franchise that is yet to get its hands on a Larry O’Brien trophy. Pairing Love with James and Kyrie Irving would put the wine and gold on the fast track to an NBA Finals appearance.
However, Wiggins could be the NBA’s next bright star, and it would certainly be a risk to relinquish him in a trade.
Is the risk worth a better chance at a championship in the next couple years?
Speaking of potential Cleveland targets, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports provided an update on Ray Allen:
Free agent Ray Allen is scheduled to be in China until July 27 & still doesn't appear to be in a rush to decide playing future, sources said— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 18, 2014
That’s certainly not the news anxious fans wanted to hear.
What is Ray Allen going to do this offseason?
Of course, if there is any player in the entire NBA that has earned the right to take his time, it is Allen. He is one of the best players in the history of the game and continues to be productive as he approaches his 40th birthday.
If he does decide to retire, his next basketball destination will be the Hall of Fame. The only question that really remains is whether he wants to chase a third ring, especially after reaching the Finals last year and falling short.
Playing next to his buddy James in Cleveland would certainly be a golden opportunity to get that ring, and there is no player better suited to opening Allen up for his patented three-pointers than the King.
Believe it or not, there are other teams in the NBA besides the Cavaliers. Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune let fans know what is on the immediate plate of the Utah Jazz:
Jazz would like one more shooter on the wing as well. Name I keep hearing is francisco garcis— Tony Jones (@Tjonessltrib) July 19, 2014
Thus far, the biggest move from the Jazz this offseason was to retain Gordon Hayward, but they came close to losing him to Charlotte. Hayward’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, said the following to ESPN.com:
We're extremely appreciative to Michael Jordan, Rich Cho, Steve Clifford and the Hornets for wanting Gordon and making Gordon feel like such a critical piece to the team they're building. That's something that's really appreciated by Gordon and myself, not just the contract but the whole presentation that they made.
But it's always a wonderful thing when your own organization values you so much that they'd match a contract like this.
Francisco Garcia would be an interesting piece alongside Hayward in Utah. The Louisville product was fairly quiet last season in 55 games for the Houston Rockets and averaged 5.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists a game last year.
However, Garcia averaged better than 12 points a night from 2007-09 in Sacramento and has connected on 36 percent of his three-pointers throughout his career. That type of shooting would open the floor for Hayward to get to the basket and give young guards Trey Burke and Dante Exum a kick-out option when they penetrate the lane.
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