The Cavaliers have yet to sign the number one overall pick in this year’s draft, but that’s expected to change sometime in the coming week.
And when it does, it could affect whether or not Cleveland is able to come up with a package enticing enough to land Kevin Love in trade from the Timberwolves.
Andrew Wiggins has been playing for the Cavaliers during Summer League in Las Vegas without a contract, though it’s only a question of when, not if, he’ll be signed to the maximum figure allowed under the collective bargaining agreement.
Cleveland has been waiting not only to keep its cap space free to agree to deals with free agents like Mike Miller, but also to keep Wiggins on the table in any potential trade talks for Kevin Love — and those talks would theoretically need to be shelved for at least 30 days once Wiggins is signed.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are planning to sign No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins to a contract in the coming week, according to sources close to the process.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Cavaliers’ delay in signing the former Kansas star has nothing to do with the prospect of Wiggins being dealt to the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of Cleveland’s ongoing trade discussions for Kevin Love.
The Cavaliers, sources say, are merely exploring options for using their estimated $1.4 million in remaining cap space before signing Wiggins to a contract that will pay him in the neighborhood of $5.5 million as a rookie.
It’s difficult to believe that Cleveland’s discussions with Minnesota about a potential deal for Love haven’t influenced this process at all, because again, league rules state that a rookie can’t be traded for 30 days following the signing of his contract. Though with the unexpected signing of LeBron James, the salary cap maneuverings became far trickier than expected, and that was likely the primary motive for waiting to get this done for so long.
But at this point, signing Wiggins probably wouldn’t matter all that much, because we’d still be in late August once that 30 days was up, which would leave plenty of time for something to get done well in advance of the start of the season. And, just as we saw during the moratorium period at the beginning of free agency, a deal could be agreed upon now, and executed once that time is up.