Updates from Friday, August 8
Mark Perner of the Philadelphia Daily News adds another aspect to the Love trade:
While news came out yesterday that Minnesota and Cleveland had agreed in principle to a trade that will send All-Star Kevin Love to the Cavaliers for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a first-round draft pick, the Daily News has learned that the Sixers will, indeed, be involved in the deal.
A source informed the Daily News that the Sixers will be sending veteran forward Thaddeus Young to Minnesota for a package that will include Bennett, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA draft.
The deal, which two sources have confirmed to the Associated Press, will not be official until Aug. 23, when Wiggins, this year's No. 1 draft pick, becomes eligible to be traded.
It has long been suspected that star forward Kevin Love, 25, is on his way out of Minnesota. Provided things don't fall through, all signs now point toward Love being a Cleveland Cavalier come Aug. 23.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Timberwolves and Cavs have agreed to a deal in principle that would send Love to Cleveland in exchange for forwards Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, along with a protected 2015 first-round pick.
Wiggins and Bennett were the No. 1 overall selections in each of the past two drafts. Wiggins recently signed a rookie contract with the Cavaliers, preventing a trade for at least one month. Therefore, the Love deal won't become official until Aug. 23 at the earliest.
Wojnarowski is also reporting Love will opt out of his current contract in 2015 and sign a five-year, $120 million extension with the Cavaliers if the trade comes to fruition.
Wojnarowski also reports that the Cavs will send a pick to Minnesota in the deal:
In Kevin Love deal, Cavs likely to send Wolves the 2015 protected first-rounder it owns via Miami, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 7, 2014
Although Wiggins and Bennett have a lot of potential, Love makes more sense in a partnership with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. In fact, Numbers Never Lie points out that Love was among the NBA's most valuable players last season:
As mentioned by ESPN's Bomani Jones, the Cavs won't have to take on any albatrosses if the trade proceeds as reported:
in other news, the cavs can do this deal without taking on bad contracts? that’s a win. https://t.co/rpfZJiLMVa— Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) August 7, 2014
Marc Stein of ESPN also discussed the proposed deal and the possibility of any complications:
Jon Krawcyznaski of the Associated Press weighed in on the chances of Golden State making a late play for Love:
Again: GSW backing down and including Klay can't derail this deal. Wolves prefer Wiggins-led package.— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) August 7, 2014
Dealing a franchise cornerstone like Love, a three-time All-Star, is never easy, but the reported return sets Minnesota up well for the future.
James Harden commented on Love's potential exit (via NBA on ESPN):
Bennett had a rough rookie campaign—averaging 4.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 0.3 assists in 12.8 minutes per game on 35.6 percent shooting—but he has plenty of room to grow.
Wiggins is oozing with talent on both ends of the floor, and he has handled this situation extremely well. When asked about the possibility of being traded on SportsCenter, the University of Kansas product was diplomatic and said all the right things, per ESPN.com.
"I just want to play for a team that wants me. So whichever team wants me I'll play for," Wiggins said. ... "At the end of the day you have to remember that the NBA is a business before anything. I'm a rookie. I really don't have too much say."
Who would benefit most from this trade?
If Wiggins is traded to Minnesota, he has a chance to be the featured guy and make it his team. He always would have lived in LeBron's shadow in Cleveland, so this could be a great opportunity for him.
The Timberwolves may ultimately score big on this trade over the long term, even though the Cavs benefit during the present and immediate future.
Cleveland was already considered to be among the top contenders to win the Eastern Conference this season along with the Chicago Bulls, however Love would put the Cavaliers over the top.
He would give them a dominant presence inside that would open things up even more for LeBron, Irving, Dion Waiters and others. Acquiring a player like Love is an opportunity that doesn't come around too often, and the Cavs are smart to take advantage of it.
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