We’ve known this was coming, now the waiting is over.
It didn’t take long on the first day Andrew Wiggins could be traded for the deal to go down — he is headed to Minnesota as part of a three-team trade that forms a super team in Cleveland with Kevin Love joining LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports has the particulars:
Cleveland, Minnesota and Philadelphia have completed NBA trade call, source tells Yahoo. Kevin Love has joined LeBron James with the Cavs.
Minnesota’s Luc Mbah a Moute, Alexey Shved and Miami’s 2015 first-round pick remains the package to Philadelphia for Thaddeus Young.
With permission of Wolves and NBA, Dan Gilbert and Kevin Love met in Las Vegas during July summer league, sources tell Yahoo Sports.
That’s how long this has been in the works.
Here’s how the trade breaks down:
Cleveland gets: Kevin Love
Minnesota gets: Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Thaddeus Young, a trade exception
Philadelphia gets: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Alexey Shved, a 2015 first round pick (Miami’s, top 10 protected).
The obvious winner here is Cleveland, they become an instant title contender. They need to re-sign Love next summer, but it’s hard to see him bolting. It is a lot of new pieces to fit together for coach David Blatt — who is an NBA rookie, but has decades of experience as the head man overseas with great success. And in the case of Love and Irving, neither has a moment of playoff experience. Still, with the additions of Mike Miller and Shawn Marion to go with some solid young players like Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters, the only questions seem to be ones of exactly when the Cavs can get it together, and whether it will be in time to win them a title in their very first season.
Minnesota does pretty well for itself, about as well as can be expected when being forced to trade a superstar. Sure, it’s rebuilding, but the hardest part of rebuilding is getting the elite star player and Minnesota may have that in Wiggins. Maybe he doesn’t pan out to be super-elite, but he’ll be a quality NBA player to build with and to pair with a young core of Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic, Zach LaVine, Chase Budinger, and now Young. That’s not a playoff team in the West, but it’s not bad and has a lot of room for potential.
Philadelphia continues its plan of not being good now, but having a lot of picks that could turn into talent that’s NBA-ready in the not-too-distant future. Because the Sixers are in an admitted start-from-scratch rebuild, don’t be shocked if Mbah a Moute and/or Shved get flipped again down the line. As for the pick, they likely get to use it next year because while Miami took a step backward after losing LeBron in free agency, the Heat are still probably a playoff team in the East, and not at all likely to finish the season as one of the league’s bottom 10 teams.