It’s going to be great when the Timberwolves and Cavaliers stop posturing and make the rarest of sports trades: The deal that not only benefits both sides, but is almost perfect.
The day we no longer have to hear Wolves President and head coach Flip Saunders give measured responses about possibly keeping Kevin Love another season ... or hear Cavaliers coach David Blatt utter meaningless things about No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins such as he’s “not going anywhere as far as I know” ... well, that will be a fantastic day.
Because a trade in which the primary pieces are Love to the Cavs and Wiggins to the Wolves needs to happen. It needs to happen for both teams, it needs to happen soon, and it needs to happen for these reasons:
1) It makes sense for the Timberwolves. Love wants out. We all know this. The ideal piece in return would be a young player with upside because he cannot only be a potential franchiser player around whom to build, but also is a far less expensive option than a more established player because of how the NBA rookie salary scale works.
A deal involving Wiggins is much better than anything Golden State is offering, even if Klay Thompson is included. (And isn’t it convenient, by the way, that those rumors have flared up again as the Wolves try to gain leverage in a Cleveland deal).
2) It makes sense for the Cavaliers. Cleveland already won the offseason by landing LeBron James. A core of LeBron, Kyrie Irving and Wiggins could be championship-worthy.
But when you have LeBron, you don’t mess around. A core of LeBron, Irving and Love is championship-worthy. James will turn 30 in December and is on a two-year contract. Cleveland’s time to win is right now, and the closest thing to a sure thing to maximize that potential is to trade for Love instead of gambling that Wiggins will pan out.
3) The longer Cleveland pretends Wiggins won’t be traded and the Wolves pretend they could keep Love, the worse it is for both sides. Wiggins already is dazzling with his dunks in the NBA Summer League, teasing Cavs fans into falling in love with him. He’s crazy-athletic, but he’s still raw. Trading him is still sensible, but it will get less popular the more Cleveland fans see him.
In Minnesota, so many fans are already over Love. The longer he is still with the team, the longer the Wolves are stuck in limbo.
So the sooner both franchises figure all of this out, the better off we’ll all be.