Weeks after it was originally agreed upon, the three-team deal that sends superstar forward Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Cleveland Cavaliers was completed Saturday, according to ESPN.com.
SportsCenter offered the full details of the trade:
While Love is certainly the main piece in the deal, the T'Wolves came away with a good haul of their own as they acquired each of the past two first-overall picks in the NBA draft in the form of Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins. They also picked up athletic forward Thaddeus Young from the Sixers.
This trade is one that has been a very long time in the making. In fact, the wheels started to turn after the Cavs signed LeBron James. That resulted in Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert being allowed to court Love, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:
With permission of Wolves and NBA, Dan Gilbert and Kevin Love met in Las Vegas during July summer league, sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 23, 2014
In the end, there was never much doubt that the deal would get done, as evidenced by this Minnesota newspaper ad, courtesy of CBS Eye on Basketball:
Losing a player like Love is never ideal, but the Wolves were able to come away with a good haul. With that said, Lucas Mayer of NewsWest 9 believes that Cleveland did what it needed to do in order to become an immediate contender:
The Cavs are very smart to get Kevin Love. Wiggins is an unknown. Even if he's great, Cavs have a legit big 3 and can win a title. Simple.— Lucas Mayer (@LucasNewsWest9) August 23, 2014
Boston Celtics announcer Sean Grande seems to agree as he has put the Cavaliers in a class of their own within the moribund Eastern Conference:
It's official. The 2014-15 NBA East... The Cavs and the Cav-nots.— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) August 23, 2014
Both the Cavs and T'Wolves seemed to accomplish exactly what they wanted to do in this trade, and Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press is impressed with how everything came together:
It's pretty cool that both the Wolves and the Cavs and their fans are absolutely elated with what they're each getting in this trade. Rare— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) August 23, 2014
It may take some time and luck for the Timberwolves to become true players in the Western Conference, but NBA.com's Jeff Caplan isn't sleeping on the package that Minnesota got in return:
The deal is done. LeBron gets Love. But, hey, Flip Saunders pulls off Wiggins, Bennett and Thad Young for the Wolves. Pretty good.— Jeff Caplan (@Caplan_NBA) August 23, 2014
Wiggins has been considered an elite NBA prospect for the past couple years, and pretty every team in the league would love to have him. Zach Harper of CBSSports.com quipped that the Timberwolves' incompetence helped them land the Kansas product in the end:
Had Wiggins remained in Cleveland, he would have played second fiddle to LeBron. It is going to take Wiggins a longer time to win in Minnesota, but University of Kansas head coach Bill Self revealed that his former player is ready for the challenge, per The Associated Press (h/t the New York Daily News).
When all this trade stuff started, I talked to Andrew and Andrew told me, 'I hope I get traded.' And I'm like, 'No you don't.' And he said, 'Coach, I do. It's better for me, knowing my personality and what I need to do, to go somewhere where I'm forced to be something as opposed to going in there where they're going to be patient with me and I'm going to be a piece.'
The inclusion of Young and the 76ers in the deal is something that has flown under the radar to some degree. Pat Huggins of the Lebanon Daily News views trading Young as a setback for the organization:
Thad Young being traded means timetable for Sixers being good again is 11 years instead of 10.— Pat Huggins (@phuggsports) August 23, 2014
At the same time, ESPN's Chad Ford believes Minnesota made a mistake in acquiring him since he is a free agent at the end of the season:
Oh Flip, trading a 2015 1st rd pick in the 17-22 range for 1yr of Thad Young is nuts. Wolves will be awful either way http://t.co/hz3I8GPxbB— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) August 22, 2014
If the T'Wolves are able to re-sign Young, though, it could potentially prove to be a shrewd maneuver.
The Cavaliers and Timberwolves are teams at different ends of the spectrum, so it will be difficult to judge this trade until several years down the road. Love gives Cleveland a Big Three with LeBron and Kyrie Irving, and they have a great chance to win a championship.
Conversely, Minnesota is now stacked with young, exciting talent. The 2014-15 season will feature some growing pains in all likelihood, but the future is bright.
The relationship between the T'Wolves and Love had clearly soured, so this is the perfect resolution for all parties involved.
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