After a month of speculation, Kevin Love is finally a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now that the three-way trade is official, what are the top takeaways from the deal?
Cavs are the big winners of the trade
The Cavaliers received arguably one of the best five players in the NBA in Love. He is a three-time All-Star that averaged 26.1 points and 15.2 rebounds last season.
There’s not another power forward in the league that can both rebound and shoot the basketball like Love. He is also an underrated passer and has a high basketball IQ.
While it will take some time for the new Cleveland team to develop chemistry, Love and LeBron James will make an impact immediately. Love’s ability to play the post and shoot it from three-point land will open up opportunities for not only James, but for Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters.
ProBasketballTalk's Kurt Helin believes there are three things that could hold the Cavaliers back this upcoming season. Cleveland’s defense is certainly in question, but I don’t believe the Cavs will be a terrible team on defense.
The biggest question Helin has is regarding their lack of experience, and with that I agree. While James has playoff experience, Love has never played in a single playoff series, so that is a legitimate concern. Luckily, the Cavs have experienced players like James, Mike Miller and Shawn Marion on their roster.
Without Love, the Cavaliers were already considered favorites to come out the Eastern Conference. Now with the addition of Love and free-agent acquisitions Miller and Marion, they might even be the favorites to hoist the NBA title this upcoming season.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have a new face to their franchise
Of course Minnesota didn’t want to trade its best player, but Love had made it well known that he had no intention of signing an extension. In response, the team went out and traded for the 2014 No. 1 overall draft pick, Andrew Wiggins.
According to CBS Sports' James Herbert, Wolves head coach Flip Saunders believes the Love deal gives the Wolves an identity, and I couldn’t agree more. Not only does Minnesota acquire Wiggins, it also received 2013 No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett plus Thaddeus Young and a $6.3 million trade exception in the deal.
Who benefited more from the Kevin Love trade?
It is hard for a team like Minnesota to obtain a potential star player, but the team might have found one in Wiggins. The Wolves already have a young nucleus in Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic and Chase Budinger, so Wiggins, Bennett and Young should fit in well with the team.
Minnesota may not be a playoff team in the loaded Western Conference, but the team has a good young core to build upon for years to come.
The Philadelphia 76ers will be bad again next season
The 76ers were already looking at a doomed 2014-2015 season, so they decided to get rid of Young’s pricey contract. He is owed $9.4 million this upcoming season and has a $10 million player option in 2015-2016. When you’re rebuilding like the 76ers are, that isn’t a contract you want on your roster.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute's contract expires after the 2014-2015 season. He will give you solid defense but not much else. Alexey Shved is a guard with potential, but he struggled in his first two seasons in Minnesota.
Philadelphia also received the Miami Heat’s first-round pick in the trade. The pick is top-10 protected, so the 76ers are most likely to use it during next year’s draft.