Cleveland, Minnesota and Philadelphia have completed NBA trade call, source tells Yahoo. Kevin Love has joined LeBron James with the Cavs.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 23, 2014
The previously agreed upon trade between the Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves centering around Love and Wiggins also includes the Philadelphia 76ers and Thaddeus Young.
Love is the only player or asset going to Cleveland, while Minnesota receives Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and Young. In exchange for surrendering Young, Philadelphia gets a first-round pick from the Cavs (via the Miami Heat) and Luc Richard Mbah Moute and Alexey Shved from the ‘Wolves.
The merit of Love in Cleveland is obvious. While his presence only exacerbates concerns about the Cavaliers’ defensive worth, those are mitigated by how well he fits on the other side of ball with LeBron James. One of the league’s preeminent long-range shooters, Love’s outside-inside game meshes perfectly with James’ dominance as a post-up threat and penetrator. A pick-and-roll involving two of Love, LeBron, and Kyrie Irving with the remaining player looming on the weak-side will immediately become arguably the most devastating single play in basketball. Cleveland might not be clear-cut championship favorites, but its chances of winning a title in James’ first season back home certainly increase with Love in tow.
But Minnesota’s bounty is mighty impressive. No team forced to trade a franchise player in recent memory has received a better package in return than what the Timberwolves are getting here. Wiggins has obvious superstar potential, Bennett figures to develop into a valuable contributor at the very least, and Young is a solid two-way starter on a very movable contract. Minny likely won’t be better this season than it was in 2013-2014, but the inclusion of Young keeps Flip Saunders’ zany dreams of staying competitive without Love afloat. And obviously, the ‘Wolves long-term outlook is bright with Wiggins aboard, too.
Young was stranded in Philly last season, and his departure from the Sixers is a win for both sides. General manager Sam Hinkie would be hard-pressed to find better value for the 26 year-old than a first-round pick. Shved and Mbah a Moute might actually have roles with Philadelphia, too. The former will get a chance to rebound from two disappointing seasons after a ballyhooed international career, while the latter will surely ease fellow Cameroonian Joel Embiid’s transition to the NBA. Neither Shved nor Mbah a Moute are due guaranteed money past this season, either.
So it’s finally, finally done. Thank goodness.
How happy are you that this is finally over?
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