If you didn't think the Kevin Love-to-Cleveland Cavaliers talk was real, it's time to start paying attention.
In a move to presumably help facilitate a trade for the Minnesota Timberwolves' star power forward, the Cavs have made an otherwise nondescript deal with the Utah Jazz to acquire three players with non-guaranteed contracts.
Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski has the details:
Utah's trading John Lucas, Malcolm Thomas and Erik Murphy to Cleveland for Carrick Felix, future 2nd and $1M, sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 22, 2014
The Jazz later confirmed the deal on their official website.
On the surface, it may look like more of a #WojBottleRocket than a #WojBomb, but this is obviously a smaller part of a much bigger picture. Wojnarowski explains what's at play here for the Cavs:
In Murphy, Lucas and Thomas, Cavs get three non-guaranteed contracts to facilitate trades -- or a trade. Another step toward Kevin Love.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 22, 2014
However, it's still going to take a while for any potential blockbuster to come to fruition.
As Sheridan Hoops' Chris Sheridan noted, a deal to acquire Love would have to include 2014's No. 1 overall pick, Andrew Wiggins:
That has been the thought all along, and sources cited by Wojnarowski agreed Wiggins would have to be part of the discussion for the T-Wolves to listen. However, with the Cavs set to sign their newest rookie, per The Associated Press, they won't be able to trade him for 30 days.
It will be interesting to see if that kind of holdup has any effect on Cleveland's chances of acquiring the three-time All-Star. As the AP's Jon Krawczynski argued, a month could complicate things:
The 30-day element of potential love-wiggins deal is complicating everything. Long time for teams to think about things— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) July 22, 2014
Wolves thought they had a deal with GSW earlier this summer. Didn't work out. That's coloring wolves' caution here— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) July 22, 2014
Still, Tuesday's trade would suggest Dan Gilbert, David Griffin and Co. are confident they will get a deal done.
Who will Kevin Love be playing for at the start of the season?
If so, the Cavs are going to be scary.
Wiggins has all-world potential on both ends of the court, but Love is already an established NBA force. He is a double-double machine, stretches the floor as well as any big man and still has plenty of room to grow at the age of 25. Last season, he averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game while knocking down 2.5 threes at a 37.6 percent clip.
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.
Now imagine what he could do with Love.
So while this deal involving less-heralded players may seem underwhelming on the surface, it's really a warning to the rest of the NBA.
The Cavs are on the brink of improving their 2014-15 title chances. Again.