Fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers continue to wait on news about a potential trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love. At this point, a lot of you are probably sick of reading about it, especially in the absence of any real developments. Truth be told, I'm a little sick of writing about it. But it is still a potentially huge story, so we're not just going to ignore it.
Last night, Bob Finnan of The Morning Journal and The News Herald published an article that contained several tidbits that may qualify as actual news. Here's the first piece:
It appears the framework of the Cavaliers-Timberwolves trade is done. However, there are still some moving parts in the possible deal. The Cavaliers would prefer to hang onto rookie swingman Andrew Wiggins. That much is true. However, the Timberwolves probably won't make the trade unless Wiggins is included.
So, the framework is apparently in place. Except, it could still change. My reading of this leads me to two possible conclusions: 1.) The deal is basically done, but it has to stay a secret until Wiggins can be officially traded on August 23; or 2.) The deal was close to being done but the Cavs are now having second thoughts about including Wiggins.
I think that the first of these two possibilities is much more likely than the latter. Obviously David Griffin would prefer to keep Wiggins if he can, but it seems so unlikely that he'd be able to do that and still get Love. It's possible that he could try to wait it out, and hope that Minnesota backs down from their insistence that Wiggins be included in the deal. But in that scenario, the Wolves could probably field better offers from several other teams than what the Cavs can offer sans Wiggins. Griffin would also be running the risk that Wiggins will start the season shooting 20% from beyond the arc or something like that, and significantly diminish his trade value. That's why I think the holdup is more likely tied to the trade moratorium on Wiggins, rather than Griffin's desire to play hardball. That's just my two cents, though.
Here's another interesting thing from Finnan's article:
The crux of the trade appears to have the Cavaliers sending Wiggins, forward Anthony Bennett and a 2018 first-round pick to Minnesota for Love and possibly forward Corey Brewer. The Timberwolves might want to dump point guard J.J. Barea's $4.5 million contract in a deal.
I had not seen the 2018 pick mentioned anywhere else, and had been assuming that any picks included in the deal would be from next year's draft. However, if the Cavs do get to keep the three potential first round picks they have next year (their own, plus protected picks from the Heat and Grizzlies), that would be great. Draft picks are a great way for a team without cap space -- which is what the Cavs will be if they are paying LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Love -- to pick up some talented players on the cheap.
And finally, one last note from Finnan:
In a rather new development, it now looks as if Love won't sign an extension with any team in which he's traded, even the Cavaliers. He can get far more money if he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2015, and re-signs with the team in which he is traded. That puts considerably more risk in a trade, especially if the Cavaliers are giving up a prospect like Wiggins.
With all due respect to Mr. Finnan, I don't actually think that's all that new of a development. My understanding is that Love had always planned to wait to commit to any team until next summer, regardless of where he plays this season. Finnan is certainly correct about that being one of the risks of trading for him.
It looks like that's where things are at. It's close, but not yet official. Stay tuned to see if anything new and interesting leaks later today, or over the weekend.