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:
– Here’s some more stuff to whet the athleticism appetite:
– Buy Wolves’ season tickets for the pre-game layup line dunk contests alone, kids.