On Monday night Brian Windhorst reported that a trade that will send Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers has essentially been completed. Windhorst claims it is a “handshake agreement” at this point, as the Cavs have to wait a few weeks to trade No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Wiggins can’t be shipped out of town until 30 days after he signed his rookie contract.
Windhorst claims it could actually wind up being a be a three-way trade that will send Love to the Cavs, with Wiggins and Thaddeus Young going to the Wolves and Anthony Bennett going to the Philadelphia 76ers. So yeah, I’d say that qualifies as a blockbuster deal. A team could still come in and blow the Timberwolves away with another offer since the deal is not official yet, but that’s unlikely at this point.
The Cavs will give up the enormous potential of Wiggins to land Love, a 25-year-old three-time All-Star. They are also giving up on Bennett, the No. 1 pick from the 2013 NBA Draft who struggled mightily as a rookie. He’ll now get a fresh start in Philadelphia, while Minnesota gets a solid forward in Young.
This deal makes every team in it better, though I have been vocal in saying I wouldn’t trade for Love if I was the Cavs. I think keeping their young core together along with LeBron James would be the sure-fire way to create a dynasty. Adding Love makes the Cavs better now, but may not be the right move for the team long term.
Love will enter free agency after the 2014-15 season and there is no guarantee he’ll stay in Cleveland, since he will not sign an extension with the Cavs before hitting free agency. He’s a California guy and the Los Angeles Lakers will have a ton of salary cap room to lure him away. Sure, that may not matter, but the fact that there is even a small amount of doubt makes this deal a risk.
That said, Love averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 36.3 minutes per game last season. He also shot 37.6 percent from three-point range. He’s the definition of a difference-maker. His future is a topic for another day at this point.
Expect Cavs fans to be very excited about this trade. And they should be fired up, since adding Love to James and Kyrie Irving gives Cleveland the NBA’s best trio.
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