It’s already been reported the Cavaliers and Timberwolves had agreed on a Kevin Love trade.
But this isn’t something that slipped out on a radio interview. This isn’t read reading between the lines.
This is deliberately reported and well-sourced proof Cleveland and Minnesota pan to complete a deal as soon as Andrew Wiggins can be traded, Aug. 23.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have reached an agreement in principle to send All-Star forward Kevin 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.
No third team is involved in the Cavaliers-Timberwolves trade agreement.
The precise deal terms have been agreed upon for weeks, but the teams and Love plan to stay silent about the particulars until the trade is announced in 16 days, sources told Yahoo Sports.
The value of a Love max contract won’t be known until next summer, but based on the projected 2015-16 salary cap, it could be worth only $108,690,125.
There is no way to make Love’s side of this arrangement binding. He could opt in. He could opt out and leave.
Cleveland has no recourse but to take him at his word.
The entire reason I believed potential trade partners should get Love to opt in was, besides guaranteeing an extra year of the star player, Love would be signaling a desire to stay long-term. But this is another way, though less binding, of Love showing that intent.
Regardless, the upside for Cleveland is so high.
Love, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving are going to rule the East. That’s so much talent and production, and their dominance will likely begin immediately. If it takes a year for everyone to jell, as it did for LeBron in Miami, so be it. That core is young enough to contend for years – as long as Love follows through with staying.
That is a heck of a haul for the Timberwolves. Most superstars don’t fetch nearly so much in a trade, especially when they’re this close to free agency. Credit Flip Saunders and Glen Taylor for holding firm, drawing a great offer and realizing it’s the one they should take.
Wiggins won’t necessarily blossom into a star himself, but he has a good chance. In Minnesota, he’ll have plenty of room to spread his wings. Bennett looked much more fit in summer league, and even if he never lives up to being a No. 1 pick, a young top-10-pick-caliber player is valuable. The future first, depending on its protections, could also net the Timberwolves another key asset.
I’m not surprised this became public. I wouldn’t even be surprised if both teams agreed to leak it as a way to hold each other accountable if the deal doesn’t go through.
This is out now. It’s only a matter of waiting until the 23rd.