After weeks of speculation, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves have reportedly agreed to a deal that will send Kevin Love to Cleveland. One of the worst kept secrets in all of sports, the deal cannot be official until August 23rd when Andrew Wiggins’ 30-day waiting period after signing his contract is up.
According to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Cleveland Cavaliers will send Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a protected 2015 first-round selection to Minnesota for Love.
One of the major drawbacks of this deal at first was that many seemed to think two former No. 1 overall picks is a hefty price to pay for a one-year rental of Love. However, those concerns have been quieted as Yahoo also provided some clarification on that.
Wojnarowski stated, “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.”
Though nothing is official at this time since neither team wants to be penalized by the league, it seems like the deal as constructed is exactly what both teams want. The Timberwolves get Wiggins, a player many think is going to elevate to a franchise changer in the next couple of seasons. On the other hand, the Cavaliers get the scoring machine for their front court they have lacked for a very long time.
Love is coming off arguably his best season as a pro, as he averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game last year. On top of that, he shot 45.7 percent from the field and 37.6 percent from three-point land last season in 77 games.
Many people have been concerned with Love’s injury history, as he played in just 18 games in the 2012-2013 season. But over the course of his career (since 2008), he has started 282 of the 364 games he has played in. On top of that, his injury that cost him the majority of 2012-2013 was a freak incident—not something that is recurring over the course of his basketball career.
For Cavs fans, this deal completely signifies a changing of the times in Cleveland.
One year ago today, many were wondering if Kyrie Irving would sign an extension and if the young players could develop into NBA starters and a playoff caliber team. With one decision, LeBron James altered that landscape with his return to Cleveland—pushing up the window of contention to now instead of three to four years from now.
With Irving signing an extension. James committing to the franchise and now the news that Love will sign a new five-year deal after the season, the Cavaliers have jumped to the top of the East for the next five years at a minimum—which is a far cry from where this franchise was a season ago.