Last night, Cleveland traded Carrick Felix, a 2015 second-round pick and cash considerations to the Utah Jazz in exchange for John Lucas III, Malcolm Thomas and Erik Murphy. The actual players changing teams in the deal aren’t that significant, it’s the non-guaranteed nature of their contracts that clears the way for a possible Kevin Love trade.
All three players going to the Cavs in this deal aren’t owed any money next season, which means the Cavaliers could include their salaries in any potential Love deal and allow Minnesota to send additional salary back to Cleveland. The ‘Wolves would turn around and waive the players to acquire salary cap relief.
As of yesterday, trade talks between Cleveland and Minnesota appear to be held up over the inclusion of future picks. Another wrinkle to this saga is Andrew Wiggins, who has yet to sign his rookie contract. When he does — which appears imminent — the Cavs will not be able to include him in any trade for 30 days, which would give the ‘Wolves an awful lot of time to weigh offers from Golden State and Chicago. Then again, the No. 1 pick this summer can be promised in a trade with Minnesota, much like the deals struck during the July moratorium, and they don’t have to sign off on it for another 30 days. Basically, Wiggins’ contract status doesn’t hold up the trade talks for Love.
Even if the ‘Wolves receive Wiggins and Anthony Bennett along with draft picks for Love, you can expect them to try and offload some unwanted salaries, which is why the non-guaranteed contracts play a role here. One player the ‘Wolves might want to trade would be Kevin Martin, who is owed $7.1 million next season and $7.4 million in 2015-16.
The trade talks between the two sides appear to be getting serious. At this point, the Cavs appear to be all-in on making a deal for Love no matter the cost. On the ‘Wolves side, it appears — judging from the fact no deal has been agreed upon — they are still trying to get more out of the trade, whether it’s acquiring more picks from Cleveland, or in the form of cap relief.
Both sides are moving closer to a deal every day, but Wiggins’ possible future in Cleveland looks bleak after the Felix trade for the non-guaranteed salaries.
What do you think?
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