Even the Minnesota Timberwolves owner has accepted the inevitable: superstar forward Kevin Love wants out of his franchise and he can do nothing about it. Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers trade appears imminent as the squads have reportedly been exclusively talking to each other about a potential deal.
"I'm saying it's most likely because Kevin has made it pretty clear that that's what he wants to do," admitted to the Pioneer Press by Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor.
The trade is expected to go down as early as August 23 when the Cavaliers’ guard/forward Andrew Wiggins is allowed to be traded as per the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) rules which states that any rookie player who signs his rookie deal with any team must only be part of any deal after 30 days of signing his first NBA contract. The top pick of the 2014 NBA Draft was signed by the Cavaliers on July 22.
Taylor as well as the rest of the Minnesota think-tank including general manager/coach Flip Saunders are already looking ahead of life without Love in Minneapolis and dealing him as soon as possible will get them maximum value off their franchise player.
"I think when you move somebody like Kevin, who's been an all-star, that you've got to get a number of players on your team that have the potential of replacing him. Flip has looked at this team and offensively, he's got a pretty good team. Defensively, it's got to be better, so I think that's where some of the areas will be replaced," added Taylor in the same article.
Wiggins will be a work in progress but is pegged as a potential franchise player—something Minnesota can’t get from previous offers for Love from the Golden State Warriors or the Chicago Bulls. The Warriors’ proposal have centered on David Lee and Harrison Barnes while the Bulls offered Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler and other players.
For the Cavs, they will most likely give up Wiggins along with 2013 top pick Anthony Bennett and a future first rounder.
Love has reportedly stated that he won’t immediately sign with whichever squad he is traded to but the allure of a long-term partnership with the best player in LeBron James in Cleveland will be hard to pass up. The Cavaliers also have top point guard Kyrie Irving in the line-up and the Cleveland core will instantly become the top contenders in the weak Eastern Conference if not NBA title contenders.
It’s still roughly three weeks before the moratorium on any Wiggins trade is lifted, but from around the NBA and even within the Minnesota camp, a Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers is imminent.