The Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t currently including Andrew Wiggins in their trade package to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love, but might have the juice to complete a deal anyway. The only hold-up? The Cavs are refusing to part with protected first-round picks that the ‘Wolves desire, a report says.
Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times and WSSP 1250 was first to report the news.
Told TWolves ready to pull trigger on sending Love to Cleve, but Cavs balking on future No. 1 picks. Seriously?
— Gery Woelfel (@GeryWoelfel) July 22, 2014
ESPN’s Jeff Goodman offered further insight on the picks Minnesota seeks.
Cleveland Cavs have two chips to include to try and get Kevin Love few are talking about: protected picks from Miami and Memphis.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) July 22, 2014
A key word here is “protected.” The Miami Heat will only surrender their pick to Cleveland if it falls outside the draft’s top 10 choices in 2015 or 2016; there are no restrictions on the pick in 2017. The Cavs will only receive the Memphis Grizzlies’ first-round choice if it’s a selection between 6-14 in 2015 or 2016; the pick is protected 1-5 in 2017 and 2018 and unprotected in 2019.
After losing LeBron James, Miami brought back Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in addition to signing Luol Deng, making it a likely playoff team next season. If that assumption holds true, the Heat will send their first-round pick to the Cavs next season – one likely in the late teens or early twenties.
Memphis’ situation is more complicated than Miami’s. The Grizzlies appear firm as a sub-contender in the West, but the conference is so loaded with quality teams that a significant injury or two could easily make them lottery-bound in either of the next two seasons. It’s possible Memphis conveys its first-rounder to Cleveland in 2015 or 2016, giving the Cavs a mid-to-late lottery pick. What seems more likely is that the Grizz hold steady as a playoff team for the foreseeable future and send their pick to Cleveland in 2017 when it’s only protected for the draft’s first five selections.