Ever since the Cavaliers signed LeBron James, Kevin Love and Cleveland have been dancing around each other.
But No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins – who has gotten off to a strong start in summer league – appeared to be the line in the sand. Cavaliers coach David Blatt even said Wiggins wouldn’t be traded, though Wiggins was clearly Minnesota’s most-desired asset.
Cleveland’s stance appears to be weakening.
A league source said on July 17 that the Cavs are now willing to trade the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft.
However, a source said James wants the 6-10, 250-pound Love on the roster.
While the Warriors are dithering over Klay Thompson, Wiggins offers much more value than Minnesota ever could have reasonably anticipated for a player who can become a free agent in a year. Not only is Wiggins’ upside immense, he hasn’t even begun his four-year rookie contract. After that, he’ll be a restricted free agent. There is so much more time to rebuild around him than Thompson, who’s eligible for an extension and wants a big one.
This would be a tougher deal for the Cavaliers to swallow. Wiggins is a supreme talent, and his cheap contract leaves more leeway to add other contributors. Love would have to opt in to the final season of his contract, 2015-16, to make this deal palatable. That would not only give Cleveland another year of security, it would signal Love’s desire to remain there.
The Cavaliers can win a championship next season. This is the time to sacrifice the future for the present. If Wiggins winds up as good as Love, that would be great for Wiggins. Cleveland should get Love now and overlap his prime with LeBron’s rather than letting LeBron and the rawer Wiggins have a smaller window of elite play together.
This news might mean the the trade gets completed soon. The Timberwolves have been waiting for an offer that knocks their socks off. This should be it.