FINALLY! After Sports Illustrated‘s Lee Jenkins kept the biggest secret in NBA History long enough to make LeBron’s letter to all of us public without it leaking beforehand — ‘cept “Like a BAWSE” Chris Sheridan, now the rest of the free agency dominoes will begin to fall. But, it’s worth pondering LeBron’s diction in his revelatory essay told through Jenkins. James called out specific Cavs players he hoped to mentor, but failed to mention No. 1 pick, Andrew Wiggins. Does this mean there’s a Kevin Love-to-Cleveland deal currently roiling?
Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today is reporting the ‘Wolves won’t even consider a Cavs offer unless Wiggins is on the table:
Whatever the Cavs offer Timberwolves for Kevin Love, I keep hearing the offer needs to include Andrew Wiggins to make it work.
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) July 11, 2014
Before the Cavs had even locked up LeBron, though we don’t yet know when they did, there were reports they were working on a trade for Kevin Love contingent on LeBron James’ signing. Well now LeBron has informed all of us he’s “coming home,” but used specific language in one section of the piece which could foreshadow another Cavs bombshell: the acquisition of Kevin Love from the Timberwolves. Let’s explain.
Here’s the paragraph that could spell the end of Wiggins’ short-lived tenure with the Cavs.
I’m not promising a championship. I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. My patience will get tested. I know that. I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach. I will be the old head. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn’t know they could go. I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these talented young guys. I think I can help Kyrie Irving become one of the best point guards in our league. I think I can help elevate Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. And I can’t wait to reunite with Anderson Varejao, one of my favorite teammates.
Conspicuously absent from the current Cavs mentioned by James in his SI bombshell, 2014 No.1 pick, Andrew Wiggins, plus last year’s largely disappointing No. 1 selection, Anthony Bennett. We weren’t the only ones attempting some prescience after reading the piece.
Esteemed ‘Wolves beat reporter for the Minnesota Star-Tribune, Jerry Zgoda, also acknowledged the implications of LeBron’s diction:
Telling that LeBron's essay talks about mentoring Kyrie, Dion & Tristan but no mention of No. 1 picks Wiggins and Bennett?
— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) July 11, 2014
As did others:
LeBron mentions Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and Anderson Varejao. No Andrew Wiggins. Hmm. #KevinLove
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) July 11, 2014
Wiggins’ camp is confident he’s not going to get traded, though, relays Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports:
At the moment, Cavaliers rookie swingman Andrew Wiggins' camp believes he won't be traded to Minnesota for Kevin Love.
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 11, 2014
Chris Broussard just announced on ESPN that the Cavs first offer for Love DID NOT include Wiggins, but instead involved Dion Waiters, Anthony Bennett and a future first-round pick.
ESPN’s Marc Stein just added that Kevin Love is indeed “intrigued” about joining the Cavs, and more importantly he’s willing to sign in Cleveland long-term now that LeBron will be on hand — something he wouldn’t commit to before the James announcement. The Love deal largely fizzled because LeBron wasn’t involved, but his announcement changes everything.
Source close to situation says Kevin Love indeed "intrigued" by idea of being dealt to Cavs and would commit long there if traded there
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 11, 2014
From Zgoda’s ensuing piece on the future of Love and the implications he’s going to Cleveland, come a lot of if’s and but’s, but make no mistake, Love could be going to Cleveland soon:
The price will be Wiggins — and other pieces inclulding draft pick(s) and perhaps Bennett — and right now it’s not clear just how eager the Cavaliers will be to do so.
You’d think it’d be a no-brainer for them, but…
It’ll be interesting to see if Wiggins plays for the Cavaliers team this afternoon when it starts its Las Vegas Summer League play.
And it’ll be interesting to see if:
* The Cavs try to get greedy and try to make a deal with the Wolves without including Wiggins.
* And if Flip Saunders gets greedy and tries to use the Cavs and Wiggins to leverage Chicago — if they lose out on Carmelo Anthony — into giving him the deal he has sought from them: Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and the rights to Nikola Mirotic.
You also say that about Golden State, but the Bulls now have more incentive to keep Love away from LeBron and the Cavs.
Stay tuned, it’s going to be a wild ride…
Damn right. We don’t think our heart rate will settle back to it’s usual bpm rate until dusk.
Does Love get traded to the Cavs?
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