Updates from Thursday, July 24
The Cavailers confirm the signing of Andrew Wiggins:
CBS Sports' Ken Berger has more details:
The Cavs announce they have signed No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins, putting a 30-day moratorium on trading him.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 24, 2014
Wiggins' deal starts at the rookie scale $5.5 million. Draft picks can only be traded before signing contracts or 30 days after.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 24, 2014
Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal previously provided an update on Wiggins' signing with the Cavaliers:
#Cavs expect to receive Andrew Wiggins' signed contract paperwork on Thursday. Thus will begin 30-day clock when he can't be traded.— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydABJ) July 23, 2014
The Andrew Wiggins trade rumor mill can officially be put to rest. At least for the next 30 days.
Andrew Wiggins will sign his rookie contract with the Cavaliers. It's still not clear if he'll play for them.
A person familiar with the negotiations says the Cavs will sign the No. 1 overall pick to his deal, an agreement that would prevent any potential trade involving the small forward from being completed for 30 days.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports reported on the terms of the deal Wiggins will sign:
Cavs to sign No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins to a standard 2-year rookie contract with two option years,source told Yahoo. @twithersAP broke story— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 22, 2014
ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported over the weekend that a deal was imminent.
The Cavaliers strategically waited to sign Wiggins in order to make the best possible use of their remaining cap room. As noted by Windhorst, Cleveland will officially sign Mike Miller in the coming days after previously agreeing on a two-year contract.
The biggest fallout from the signing is a clause in the NBA's collective bargaining agreement that prevents Wiggins from being traded for at least 30 days after his contract is signed. Wiggins has been mentioned as the principal asset in a potential blockbuster trade for Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love.
ESPN's Chris Broussard reported the Cavs have offered Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, their past two No. 1 picks, along with a future first-rounder for the All-NBA forward. The negotiations are said to be taking place under the behest of LeBron James, who has already contacted Love about playing with him in Cleveland. James re-signed with his hometown Cavaliers after four years with the Miami Heat earlier this month.
In a first-person Sports Illustrated article announcing his decision, James said his goal was to bring a championship back to Cleveland. Love, the NBA's best power forward, would combine with Kyrie Irving to give Cleveland arguably the league's most formidable Big Three. The trio in some ways mirrors a younger, better version of what Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade would have given him in Miami.
It was seen by some as a little conspicuous when James named teammates he was excited about but did not mention Wiggins or Bennett by name:
I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these talented young guys. I think I can help Kyrie Irving become one of the best point guards in our league. I think I can help elevate Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. And I can’t wait to reunite with Anderson Varejao, one of my favorite teammates.
For their part, the Cavaliers have privately assured Wiggins he won't be dealt. Cleveland head coach David Blatt even went on record during the Las Vegas Summer League in an attempt to assuage his protege's concerns.
"There's no reason or cause for worry on his part because Andrew's not going anywhere, as far as I know and as far as the club has expressed," Blatt told reporters.
Wiggins averaged 15.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game on 40.5 percent shooting in four summer league games. The trip to Vegas both confirmed his immense two-way potential and again indicated he's still a year or two away. He made only two of 13 attempts from three-point range, struggled with fouls and made only one assist the entire week.
He was impressively able to use his body to create contact and draw fouls, at points wowing fans with dunks in games and warm-ups. But it's clear he's on a wildly different career trajectory than James, who is 10 years his senior.
While agreeing to terms puts a slight freeze on the Love talks, it might make a trade more realistic once that month-long wait is up. Wiggins will have a cap hold right around $5.5 million for the 2014-15 season. With Love under contract for $15.7 million, the Cavaliers will have to be creative in order to match salaries without giving up players who fit their long-term plans.
Matt Moore of CBSSports.com weighed in on Wiggins' performances at the Las Vegas Summer League:
Y’all are nuts. 8. Wiggins was only rook to not show any real warts. Great consistency. Athleticism just makes things easy for him— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) July 19, 2014
Keeping Wiggins unsigned meant he did not technically count for anything under the NBA salary cap. The league places a so-called cap hold for unsigned first-round picks, but those holds do not count when allotting salary for a trade.
The Cavaliers can use this next month to get creative. As the season draws closer, the pressure from Love's camp to get a deal done will grow exponentially. Perhaps it's possible for Cleveland to swing a Love trade while holding onto Wiggins—something that seems impossible at the moment. There are any number of different directions this could go in, making the signing all the more intriguing.
Inking the contract means he's safe for now. But the next 30 days might wind up shaping the former Kansas star's entire career.
Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter.