NBA Rumors: Recapping Buzz Surrounding Andrew Wiggins, Eric Bledsoe and More

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2014

Mar 30, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) reacts in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. The Lakers defeated the Suns 115-99. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With the calendar turning over to August, the NBA is beginning to wrap up the last of its major offseason moves.

There are a few transactions that can't be done for a few more weeks, but they are only formalities by this point, while others look to be nearing completion. This has been a whirlwind summer ever since the San Antonio Spurs won the NBA title, and it quite frankly can't end soon enough.

The summer league was nice and all, but it's time to start playing real basketball again.

Here are a few updates on some of the moves possibly nearing the finish line.


Andrew Wiggins

TARRYTOWN, NY - AUGUST 3: Andrew Wiggins #21 of the Cleveland Cavaliers poses for a portrait during the 2014 NBA rookie photo shoot on August 3, 2014 at the Madison Square Garden Training Facility in Tarrytown, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly ackno
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Andrew Wiggins must feel like a child caught in the middle of a divorce. He just wants somebody to love him.

As everyone knows, the Cleveland Cavaliers rookie has been heavily linked with the Minnesota Timberwolves in a deal for Kevin Love. However, the earliest a trade could be done is Aug. 23, since that would be 30 days after Wiggins signed his rookie deal.

If the Cavs are planning to deal their No. 1 draft pick, they're not letting him know, though, per's Chris Haynes:

In speaking to key members of Wiggins’ camp on Aug. 2, they adamantly maintain to that the Cavaliers have not informed them a trade is forthcoming. This is even despite NBA’s online store recently discontinuing Wiggins’ jersey, Kevin Love withdrawing from World Cup play and Anthony Bennett being held out of pickup games.

All signs point towards a transaction.

“As of now, Wiggins anticipates remaining a Cavalier,” one source close to the rookie said.

This makes sense since Cleveland can't technically work on any sort of trade involving Wiggins. Why would the team let him know he'll be dealt before he could actually be dealt?

Barring some unforeseen development, Wiggins will go to Minnesota along with Anthony Bennett and whatever else the Cavs throw into the deal, with Love heading to Northeast Ohio. The Cavaliers will do what it takes to give LeBron James the best chance to win now, even if it's not the best move for the long term.

The Cavaliers would be better off keeping Wiggins, who will be cost controlled for the next few years and also brings the kind of perimeter defense that's sorely lacking on this team.

But owner Dan Gilbert will be damned if he watches LeBron walk away a second time without the Cavaliers winning a title.


Eric Bledsoe

Mar 16, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Phoenix Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe (2) listens to head coach Jeff Hornacek on the sideline against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. The Suns beat the Raptors 121-113. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA

Is Eric Bledsoe alive? Can somebody check on him to see if he's doing OK?

Because he's a restricted free agent, Bledsoe's received little interest from teams across the league since the Phoenix Suns will almost certainly match whatever offer sheet he signs. The only real aim is to force Phoenix to match a bad deal.

According to Jordan Schultz of The Huffington Post and Kup and Schultz on NBC Sports Radio, the Suns and Bledsoe are making progress, likely worth something around four years and $48 million:

Suns owner Robert Sarver spoke about the contract negotiations in an interview for the Burns & Gambo show on Arizona Sports 98.7:

"We think it's a fair offer. I think you could argue, you know, I mean some would say it's maybe a little high; some would say it's low," the owner said. "What's fair is important to us, and also important to him—him and his agent. It's not necessarily us to determine what he thinks is fair; it's him to determine that."

Sarver was likely alluding to the four-year, $48 million offer.

There's little doubt Phoenix holds all of the cards here. It can afford to watch the market for Bledsoe completely dry up, giving the player little choice to accept a deal he may not be happy with. That's the problem with being a restricted free agent.

With that said, while Bledsoe could get more on the open market, he's crazy if he thinks he's worth a max deal, though. The injury history is worrying, while he's yet to look like the kind of player you build a team around.

If the Suns do get him for something close to $12 million a year, they'll have done a great piece of business.


Evan Turner

Mar 17, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA;  Indiana Pacers forward Evan Turner (12) runs up court during the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Pacers won 99-90. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like few players elicit a more negative reaction than Evan Turner. He did become a bit of a stat-stuffer in Philadelphia, but he's blamed a little too much for the Indiana Pacers' second-half decline. A 9.7 PER is absolutely atrocious, per, but so much was wrong with that team.

Turner's abysmal 2014 hasn't scared off the Boston Celtics, per Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe:

An NBA source said the Celtics are working to clear roster space over the next few weeks in order to make room for Evan Turner in the rotation. The Celtics aren’t expected to announce the signing until those moves are made, although the sides have reached an agreement.

Bleacher Report's Zach Buckley wrote the 25-year-old couldn't find a better destination than Boston:

In Boston, Turner arrives free of any expectations. With the Celtics still plugging away on their reclamation project, they don't need him to play a major role right away.


He needs the support of his franchise but not the type that comes with the weight of the world attached. He needs patience, a team that recognizes he's worth a carefully managed investment.

He might have found all of the above with the Celtics, along with a potential miracle-worker in head coach Brad Stevens.

It would be too early to give up on Turner altogether. He's still in his mid-20s. He simply needs to find the right role on the right team.

Playing for the Celtics would be a largely pressure-free atmosphere, and with no shortage of ball-handlers on the team, Turner wouldn't have to play a major part in the team's offensive sets. That would allow him to carve out a niche in the lineup where he can be the most productive.

Turner will never likely live up to being the No. 2 pick in the 2010 draft, but that doesn't mean he can't become a solid role player in the NBA.


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