Report: Cavs and Wolves agree to swap Love for Wiggins, Bennett, 1st

Zach Harper —  August 7, 2014 — 21 Comments

LoveTraded

The Summer of Love is finished.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports is reporting the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers have agreed to a trade that will send Kevin Love to the Cavs in exchange for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a 2015 first round pick. Also, Love is finally getting his five-year deal with a “firm agreement” that Love will opt out of his deal in 2015 and sign a five-year, $120 million-plus deal. From Yahoo

The Minnesota Timberwolves have reached an agreement in principle to send All-Star forwardKevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a protected 2015 first-round draft pick, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

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.

This is the best-case scenario outside of Love changing his mind and wanting to remain with this team long-term. It’s also the best return a team has received in dealing away their star player or at worst it’s right there with the haul the Denver Nuggets received for Carmelo Anthony. They’re getting exactly what you’d want out of a deal like this: young assets, a top prospect, and a first round draft pick. Flip Saunders was rumored to like the Golden State Warriors’ package more weeks ago, and the Chicago Bulls’ trade package involving Doug McDermott was very inviting.

However, getting the top prospect in a loaded draft is the way to go. And if you’ve ready my piece on CBSSports.com about Anthony Bennett (SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT!), then you know I feel he’s very salvageable as a player. I’m not sure he’s going to justify being the No. 1 pick, but I also believe his problems had less to do with basketball and more to do with bad timing of injuries and his body. He’s corrected most of that already by dropping a bunch of weight and getting his tonsils and adenoids removed. Now it’s just on him to be a match-up problem for defenses as he learns the game.

The Wolves also may now flip (pun mildly intended) Bennett for Thaddeus Young in a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers but let’s wait and see what happens on that front.

Here are the reasons I really like this trade:

– It fits under my “Anybody but David Lee” criteria.

– The Wolves haven’t destroyed their cap situation and have actually improved it for the time being. We’ll see what happens with Ricky Rubio’s extension and a possible Nikola Pekovic trade down the road if the Wolves decide to rebuild. But they’re getting cheap, young labor in Wiggins and Bennett.

– The 2015 pick that could be headed to Wolves is either the Miami Heat’s first round pick (top 10 protected), the Memphis Grizzlies’ pick (top 5 and 15-30 protected), or the Cleveland Cavaliers’ pick (top 10 protected, Chicago can swap picks if it’s not in the lottery). Still no word officially on which pick that will end up being. Regardless, it’s likely they’ll be getting an additional first round pick in 2015 — one that is probably in the 20’s. The Wolves’ pick owed to Phoenix is top 12 protected for the next two years and then becomes a second rounder in 2016 if not conveyed as a first rounder. The Wolves should be safe on that front. UPDATE:  Wolves are getting Miami’s top 10 protected pick for 2015. It’s top 10 protected for 2015 and 2016 and unprotected in 2017.

– Here is a preview of the Wolves’ fast break attack next season:

Flying

– Here’s some more stuff to whet the athleticism appetite:

– Buy Wolves’ season tickets for the pre-game layup line dunk contests alone, kids.

Zach Harper

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21 responses to Report: Cavs and Wolves agree to swap Love for Wiggins, Bennett, 1st

  1. i would rather jump off a cliff than read your boring article zach!

  2. Well, you clicked on the article so I win. Good luck learning how the internet works.

  3. Sweet Jesus – Rubio to LaVine
    MN = “Skinny Lob City”

  4. I would of bought season tickets for a sixth consecutive year. But, after they tripled prices last year then doubled them this year, I’m out

  5. But… but… Zach wins at Bacon.

    Zach Harper ftw

  6. Thanks for writing this up Zach.

    Honestly, I think I would’ve been happy with Wiggins straight up, or even with some salary dumping added to him.

    I’m a lot less optimistic than you on Bennett, even after reading your writeup. It feels too much like a Beasley/DWill situation. It’s one thing to not thrive. It’s another to be really, really bad. That doesn’t happen with a future star.

    Finally, I generally find lower level 1st round picks to be fairly neutral in terms of being an actual asset.

    But if they can flip Bennett for Thad Young…that’s a really nice haul. Flip is either very lucky (a lot had to go write for this to happen) or really good at this stuff. Either way, I’ll take it.

  7. Well the wolves should be fun to watch. Will have highlights on espn with these guys jumping through the roof.

  8. Do we get to vote on which cliff Tman?

    Looks we’re on the same page Zach I said as much in the Steve McPherson’s entry the other day. I would like to take a flier on Bennett, I think there’s something there as well. If we can add Thad with just the Miami pick + Shabazz and get some salary relief I am all in.

    Bennett + the pick for Thaddeus seems steep for a guy who can opt out at the end of the year and as Boozer taught us all, a player’s word ain’t exactly etched in stone. Although I am a huge Thaddeus Young fan so if that’s what it takes I guess I understand it.

  9. What amazes me about this trade is the amazing and unlikely events that had to happen in order for it to occur. First, Cleveland had to get at least a top 3 overall pick, which was EXTREMELY unlikely to begin with. Second, Miami had to NOT repeat as champs, as there’s no way James turns down Wade, Bosh, and Riley for a chance at a four-peat. Third, Joel Embiid gets hurt, and narrows the #1 pick down to Wiggins or Parker (Cavs may not want to trade a healthy Embiid, and Wolves are set at center with Pek and Dieng). Fourth, LeBron decides to go back to Cleveland. All of this happening around the same time Love was publicly letting the Wolves know he had no interest in staying with the team beyond the ’14/’15 season, and thus stimulating trade talks.

    The fact that Flip turned down decent trade offers from around the league before the draft and then waited around for the best possible offer speaks volumes to his competence as a GM. As Woj noted, Cleveland was concerned that if they didn’t pull the trigger on Love, Chicago would, which forced them to give up one the most highly touted prospects of the past 10 years and another former #1 overall pick in Bennett, plus a pick. Given that we’re in early August, it may not have been an all out bidding war, but Flip played his hand as well he could.

    Hopefully this move excites the fan-base and is the start of a new and successful era of basketball in the Twin Cities. And if all goes to crap, the ally-oops will be Earth shattering.

  10. I AM LOSING IT!
    Don’t you all see how amazing this is?!?!?!?! WE GOT WIGGINS!!! we weren’t going anywhere with this team and everybody knew it – now we lucked into the guy who the entire freaking league went nuts for just a year ago! Even if he turns out to be ‘just’ a good player, he’s got what everybody in the nba craves: the ability to make people dream. this is pure franchise gold. people are going to check us out now!
    and: if we also get thad, we technically improved (!!!) our net production! (I know… yada yada yada, but still! how rare is that in a scenario like this?!) maybe flip is actually good at this?! (probably not but who cares, WE GOT WIGGINS!)

  11. He got you good Tman! I can’t believe you took the time to comment on an article you clearly didn’t read…

  12. I think the trade is really good for the Wolves, the Cavs might even be giving up too much with Wiggins, Bennett and a Pick. I’d have rather tried putting Waiters or Thompson in the deal but oh well…

    Still, it’s one thing to draft or trade for great young prospects, it’s a completely different thing to develop them. How many young players have succeeded in recent years and improved every year? Only Pek and Love did, Rubio, Shved and Williams (just to name a few) did not…

    Trading for Thad Young seems like a bad idea to me. That guy has got to be so fed up with losing and being stuck on a bad team and Minnesota won’t make the playoffs in a stacked West next season. If the Wolves trade for him to compete for the playoffs, I don’t see him sticking around longterm…

  13. Besides KG & Love becoming superstars, is this the first time the Wolves have had things break in their favor? Couple months ago this was the deal off in the distance that didn’t feel like it would ever happen. And here we are. Now of course, in classic Wolves luck, Wiggins could be a bum and that first round pick could become a nobody. But for today, I feel like there is hope. And as a Minnesota sports fan I don’t know how to react.

  14. Regardless if we get Young or not I really like the idea of a lineup featuring Rubio, Ender, Mbah a Moute, Dieng, and Pekovic. As long as we aren’t playing against a great stretch four this squad should be really good defensively. The wing presence alone would be amazing on D. I think the spacing on offense can work too with Dieng stepping out a bit and Mbah setting up in the corner to slash or just stay out of the way. Brewer would work too, but his gambling could cause problems I would rather avoid to make sure the slower bigs don’t have to recover too much. The three ball would be the one problem, in my mind. Hopefully Ender can provide at least a decent shot to be a threat but that lineup would score with second chance points, the paint, and the midrange very well. It’s not a championship squad but it has potential especially with a deeper bench.

  15. I wonder if there is any chance that the Suns and Wolves would be interested in a Pek for Bledsoe trade (with some extras added in to make everyone happy)? I would love to see a Rubio/Bledsoe backcourt with Wiggins on the wing and Young and Dieng rounding out the top 5. Martin can be a 6th man like he should be. Maybe 3 pt shooting is a problem but the D and the fast breaks would be amazing. Just saying it would be nice to watch a team that could actually get a stop every once in a while.

  16. I would have traded Love/Martin/Barea for Durant/Ibaka. Then I would trade Rubio/Buddinger/Brewer/Moute for Chris Paul

    Are the Wolves stupid? how do they not see this!!

  17. This really is the best case scenario for the Wolves for losing Love. Like Kevin Pritchard said, you’re selling to the fans either wins or hope, and getting the last two #1 overall picks is hope. Kudos to Flip, David Kahn would have traded Love to the Lakers for Pau Gasol and Nick Young.

  18. Jordan you would not be able to trade the entire roster of the T-Wolves for KD C’mon man.

  19. farnorth, sarcasm is a tricky bitch.

  20. Indeed Drew indeed….

  21. Here is the trade

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=nj9zwne

    The best part is we keep Pek, Ibaka is his ideal front court teammate.

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