On Thursday, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Minnesota Timberwolves have reached an agreement in principle to send All-Star forward Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a protected 2015 first-round draft pick. The clincher to it all?
“Cleveland is making the deal with Minnesota with a firm agreement Love will opt out of his contract in 2015 and re-sign with the Cavaliers on a five-year, $120 million-plus contract extension, league sources told Yahoo Sports.”
If true, this is a colossal coup for the Cavaliers. The team here at Everybody Hates Cleveland has been leading the #KeepWiggins charge in recent weeks, but that’s because we were under the impression that Love could opt out after just one year. Surrendering a player as talented as Wiggins is a pretty steep price for just one guaranteed year of Love.
However, the latest development changes the game. The deal is beneficial for the Cavaliers on so many levels.
Consider the following:
- It was widely rumored that the Cavaliers would have to include multiple first-round picks in a trade to acquire Love. That raised some concern because the Cavaliers have multiple future first round picks, including three in 2015 (MIA-Protected, MEM-Protected, CLE). By surrendering just one pick now, the Cavaliers retain flexibility should they need to make a deadline move later this season.
- At different instances, both Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters had been rumored to be a part of these trade discussions. The fact that they will both remain in wine and gold next year is a huge victory for the Cavaliers, especially when it comes to Waiters. After averaging 15.9 points per game in his second year, many believe Waiters could be on the verge of a breakout season. Byron Scott once compared the former Syracuse guard to Miami Heat star and former James’ running mate Dwayne Wade. Now Waiters will have an opportunity to play alongside James and fill the same role previously occupied by Wade.
- As noted earlier, the fact that Love has apparently agreed to opt out after one year and sign a five-year, $120 million-plus contract extension is huge. Many fans have identified Love’s flaws (defense, injuries) in recent weeks, but no one can deny his scoring ability. He averaged 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds last year. Want more? He’s only 25-years-old. It gets no better than this.
The wildness of this offseason just does not cease. One year ago, Cavalier fans were celebrating the signing of Andrew Bynum on a low-risk deal. Yes, you read that right — Andrew Bynum.
In comparison, this summer has seen the Cavaliers extend Irving, welcome home a King, and the team is on the verge of acquiring arguably the Association’s best big man. Oh, one more thing — it’s not over yet.
Unfortunately the Love deal cannot become official until August 23, which will be 30 days after Wiggins signed his rookie contract with the Cavaliers. Ken Berger of CBSSports has already speculated that the deal could still fall apart.
If that’s the case, I ask that you join EHC on a new campaign. #KeepWiggins was fun, but now it’s time to #GetLove.