Kevin Love

Report: Cavaliers willing to trade Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love


Ever since the Cavaliers signed LeBron James, Kevin Love and Cleveland have been dancing around each other.

The Cavaliers want the Timberwolves star, and he’s interested in joining LeBron in Cleveland.

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.

Bob Finnan of The News-Herald:

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.

[ RELATED: LeBron returns to Cavs a more efficient, mature player that can carry team further ]

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.

Byron Scott isn’t thinking about next year’s draft

Byron Scott

A month into the season, the Lakers the only team in the Western Conference that can absolutely be written out of any hopes of playoff contention. They’re in an awkward position with the upcoming draft: they still need talent long-term, and they owe their pick to the Sixers if it’s outside of the top three. Not surprisingly, Byron Scott isn’t thinking about it at all.

Via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

With the Lakers fielding the NBA’s second-worst record, how much effort will the franchise put in retaining its top-3 protected draft pick?

“I don’t think about that whatsoever,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “I probably won’t until April. That’s something I can’t control.”

The Lakers are in a precarious position. They appear likely bad enough to lose a lot of games. But will they lose enough to land in the top three? Otherwise, the Lakers owe Philadelphia their first-round pick as part of the Steve Nash trade.

“It’s impossible to think about the team, try to get our young guys better, the team better and also thinking about a pick,” Scott said. “That’s six months away and you might not even get it.”

Given Scott’s mentality, it’s not at all surprising that he isn’t thinking about the draft. But with his insistence on playing Kobe Bryant and Lou Williams more crunch-time minutes on this dismal Lakers team than D'Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson, it’s pretty laughable that he talks about wanting to develop their young players.

Scott may not be thinking about the draft, but with the position the franchise is in and the likelihood that they lose their pick, he should be.

Report: Jahlil Okafor stopped for driving 108 MPH three weeks ago

Jahlil Okafor, Derrick Favors

Jahlil Okafor‘s first month in the NBA has been eventful for all the wrong reasons. Early Thanksgiving morning, he was caught on video getting into a fight with a heckler in Boston. Then, a report surfaced of another altercation from October, in which Okafor apparently had a gun pulled on him. Now, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Okafor was recently pulled over in Philadelphia for driving 108 miles per hour:

Four sources independently confirmed to The Inquirer the 76ers center was pulled over on the Ben Franklin Bridge around three weeks ago for 108 miles per hour. Anything over 40 m.p.h. is considered reckless driving.

108 miles per hour in a 40-mile zone isn’t a minor speeding infraction—it’s incredibly dangerous. It might be possible to write off any of these incidents by themselves—particularly the one where he had a gun pulled on him, which doesn’t seem to have been his fault at all. But together, the Boston incident and this speeding report aren’t a good look at all for Okafor. He’s had a solid start to the year for the Sixers, but off the court has been another story.

Harrison Barnes could be out “a few weeks” with ankle injury

Harrison Barnes
Leave a comment

The Warriors’ Friday night 135-116 win over the Suns was bittersweet: Harrison Barnes suffered a sprained left ankle in the third quarter and left for the remainder of the game. He missed Saturday night’s blowout win over the Kings as well, which extended the Warriors’ best-ever start to the season to 18-0.

Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton didn’t have an answer for how long Barnes will be out, but he said it could be a few weeks.

Via’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss:

“He’s being evaluated [Saturday]. We haven’t gotten the results back yet,” interim head coach Luke Walton told reporters before Saturday’s game. “It’s all speculation. It could be a few weeks. It could be a week.

“We’re not going to rush him back because we want to be healthy for later in the season and we don’t want lingering injures, so we’ll have him take his time.”

Losing a starter is never good news, but the silver lining for the Warriors is that they have enough depth and enough of a cushion to be able to take their time and not rush Barnes back. Saturday night, Walton opted to keep Andre Iguodala in his usual sixth-man role and instead start the little-used Brandon Rush in Barnes’ place. Rush responded with a 16-point performance, shooting 4-of-5 from the three-point line. If they can keep getting that kind of production out of their reserves, the Warriors will be able to withstand the loss of Barnes just fine.

Emmanuel Mudiay with the no-look, behind-the-head assist (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

Emmanuel Mudiay is still a work in progress on the court — he’s a rookie, what did you expect? — but he has the court vision and flair you cannot teach.

As evidence, I present this pass from Saturday night, where in transition Mudiay goes with the no-look, behind-the-head dish to Darrell Arthur for the dunk.

The Nuggets dropped this game to the Mavericks 92-81 and have lost six in a row.