Andrew Wiggins Must Be Dealt for Cleveland Cavaliers to Win with LeBron James

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Andrew Wiggins Must Be Dealt for Cleveland Cavaliers to Win with LeBron James
Jack Arent/Getty Images

Andrew Wiggins must go in order for LeBron James to win titles in Cleveland.

It's a sad reality for Cleveland Cavaliers fans. Wiggins, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, has unmeasurable upside. He's an athletic wing who can score outside on one possession and throw down a rim-rocker the next possession.

There's a reason the Cavs took him No. 1 overall—he's a franchise-changer. That said, this all happened before James came back to town.

When the King decided to return home, the entire landscape of the NBA changed. No other team's outlook changed more than Cleveland's, however, as the Cavs are now bona fide contenders in an Eastern Conference that no longer has a clear-cut leader.

That said, not even the Cavs can compete with the beasts of the Western Conference. The San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers are dangerously good squads. The Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors can compete with the East's top teams. Heck, even the Dallas Mavericks—who have improved greatly this offseason—can hold their own against the East.

There's one way for the Cavs to shift the balance of power, though. They have to acquire Kevin Love.

Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press

Luckily, moving Love to the Cavs would probably make all parties happy. The Cavs would get a legitimate third star to team up with James and Kyrie Irving. Love would be pleased, as, according to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, there is a belief that he recently told his agent that he wants to play for Cleveland.

The only party left to be pleased is the Minnesota Timberwolves. They won't be happy unless Wiggins is the man they get in return. ESPN.com's Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst echo that belief.

"Sources told ESPN.com that the Wolves, at present, are higher on a Cleveland trade package centered on Wiggins than any other offer on the table for Love," states the report.

Trading Wiggins will prove to be a difficult decision for Cavs general manager David Griffin. It would almost be like giving up on a guy who, just weeks ago, Griffin was ready to hand the future of the franchise over to.

That said, it's a move that must be made.

Mark Duncan/Associated Press

James knows it won't be easy to turn this young group into a title contender, but sending out a few young pieces (Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, etc.) for Love would instantly change their outlook.

In Irving, James and Love, the Cavs would have three playmakers who can drop 20 points on any given night. Love would provide enough spacing to allow James to slash to the rim at will. Irving will likely see a career high in assists. Love will knock down buckets with regularity.

But most importantly, the Cavs could win the East.

Trading Wiggins will be met with a ton of controversy if it indeed happens. Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski would make the trade in a heartbeat, however, as he cited James' age as the key factor, via CBS Radio:

You look at LeBron and you have the best player in the world. He's 29. I’m not saying he's at the end of his career, but he's in the second half of his career, let's put it that way. And in the first half of his career, he was becoming a great player. He was a great talent becoming a great player. That takes time – just like if Wiggins or Bennett are going to be great, it's not going to happen right now. They're great talents. LeBron is a great player right now.

Coach K led a Team USA team that featured Love, so he knows everything the big man is capable of doing on the court.

Should the Cavs deal Wiggins for Love?

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Let's say the Cavs don't make a deal for Love. They keep Wiggins, Bennett and their other young stars together. By the time Wiggins and Bennett are in their prime—let's say 2017-18, for argument's sake—James will be 33 years old.

At that point in his career, James will likely only have a few seasons left. It won't be easy for him to lead this Cavs team to the promised land.

By adding Love into the mix right now, the Cavs put themselves in immediate title contention. Sure, it might be a tough pill to swallow in eight years or so when James retires and Wiggins is one of the top talents in the NBA, but this team is committed to the King.

The Cavs need to put more stars in his court.

 

Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @KennyDeJohn_BR

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