Kevin Love to Cavs Appears Done Deal, Wiggins to Join Wolves

Well, there you have it. It appears that the trade buzzed about for weeks will finally go through. According to multiple media outlets, the Timberwolves have reached an agreement with Cleveland that will send All Star forward Kevin Love to the Cavs in exchange for No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, 2013 No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett and a protected 2015 first-round draft pick.

The deal took so long to materialize because Love vocalized hesitation to sign an extension with any team he signed with. Less than a week ago, things were not looking too ideal for the Wolves. On Aug. 1, Bob Finnan wrote the following“[Love] can get far more money if he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2015 and re-signs with the team in which he is traded. That puts considerably more risk in a trade, especially if the Cavaliers are giving up a prospect like [Andrew] Wiggins.” This is the largest reason Love did not end up in Golden State, although earlier rumors implied that a deal came close to being made. The transaction fell through when the Warriors refused to include Klay Thompson as part of the package. No team wants to risk trading 1-2 of its top players to acquire a guy who may walk after one season. 

Cleveland, however, appeared the most likely of teams to convince Love to stay. The team expressed interest in Love earlier in the offseason, but only after LeBron James announced his return to the Cavs did Love express a desire to play there as well. According to Yahoo! Sports, Love will commit to opt out of his contract in 2015 and re-sign with Cleveland next summer for five years and $120 million-plus.

(photo credit: huffington post)

(photo credit: huffington post)

As with any major NBA deal, varying opinions continue to pop up across all social media platforms. In general, though, the consensus of Minnesota seems to be a giant “thumbs up.” It’s always difficult to watch genuine talent leave one’s city for a rival squad. But in this case, Love’s attitude ate away like a cancer to the team. Bridges were burned, and it became painfully clear that the UCLA alum would opt out following this season anyway–so Wolves fans could only hope to see a trade rather than walking away empty-handed.

This is absolutely the best-case scenario.

Love and LeBron certainly hold the cards to make a championship run next season (I’m not convinced they’ll succeed, but that’s a story for another time). Cleveland is taking the instant-gratification route, while this transaction offers Minnesota a very real chance at building a team the right way.

Some fans may be concerned that Wiggins will resent being traded to the Wolves, but that is likely an inaccurate assumption. In an interview earlier this week, Wiggins told ESPN that he wants to play where he’s most desired and appreciated. “I just want to play for a team that wants me. So whichever team wants me, I’ll play for.” Wiggins has clearly known for awhile now that being moved to Minnesota was a very real possibility. AP‘s Jon Krawczynski said he was “told that [Wiggins] had his reps start lining up local endorsement opportunities.” 

While the rookie would admittedly have a better chance at a championship in Cleveland, he would be living in the shadow of much larger names. Joining the Wolves offers Wiggins a very real chance at creating a league name for himself, becoming a standout athlete in a smaller market.  ESPN’s Royce Young tweeted the following Thursday afternoon:

 

The trade should be s done deal, but nothing will be official until Aug. 23, as league rules prohibit players from being traded until 30 days after signing a new contract. Wiggins’ rookie contract was signed July 24.

Countless Minnesota fans are expressing excitement over the deal, and it looks to be a great foundation for the “rebuild” talked about for several seasons. Welcome to Minnesota, Mr. Wiggins.

Comments

  1. John says

    Here were my original thoughts on the move before news of the Bennett for Thad Young trade followed …

    While seemingly in the minority, I actually like this deal more than trying to get Philadelphia involved for Thad Young. I’m not saying Bennett will be the answer at PF, but I know Thad Young is a starting PF on very bad teams and my fear is that the Wolves FO believes he could be the answer at PF for this club now and in the future. I would prefer the team just stick with Bennett and see what he has to offer and how he matures. Naturally, there is a Derrick Williams comment in here to be made, but I won’t.

    As for Wiggins, this is a great opportunity for him to come in and immediately be a key contributor … and potential face of the franchise. I don’t know where the Rubio contract situation is going, nor am I worried about it at all. A core of Rubio, Wiggins, LaVine, and Dieng is rock solid to build around. Obviously, a lot depends on how these four improve … but I’m beginning to get the feeling that Rubio “is what he is” vs. there being tremendous upside potential.

    Moving forward, if the Wolves can move JJ for another expiring or to a team with cap space for a pick (ANY pick), that would be beneficial. If Flip is really interested in blowing things up, I would float Pekovic’s name out there and see what comes back in return before the trade deadline, i.e. when you have a much better idea of who is likely to own higher odds in the lottery.

    Overall, I’m very happy with this trade. It sets the precedent for a (-nother) new era for the franchise and puts a highly marketable, outstanding talent at the forefront. Let the Wiggins Era begin in the Twin Cities!

    I’ll be posting on the Thad Young news separately … Ugh

Trackbacks