Wiggins appears to be back on table in Love deal

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 18, 2014 - 11:50 PM

The No. 1 pick is the key piece in a possible Kevin Love trade.

Cleveland superstar LeBron James’ return home from Sunday’s World Cup final in Brazil appears to have moved the Timberwolves one significant step closer toward trading discontented star Kevin Love to the Cavaliers in a deal for No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins.

Publicly unwilling this past week to trade the top player chosen in last month’s draft, the Cavaliers now appear open to discussing Wiggins’ inclusion, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations.

If completed, a trade will unite Love — who never has made the playoffs in six seasons and intends to become an unrestricted free agent next summer — with pal Kyrie Irving and James, winner of two NBA titles who last week left Miami to return home to play for the team that drafted him in 2003.

In the days after James’ announcement, Cleveland management and new coach Dave Blatt maintained they would not trade Wiggins. They have been reluctant to do so because of Wiggins’ elite athleticism and the kind of defensive potential that has some NBA scouts comparing him to former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen.

Cleveland’s refusal to include Wiggins in any trade possibly changed when James returned from Brazil and made his desires known, perhaps both to his team’s management and to Love himself.

Yahoo Sports reported Thursday that James has reached out to Love and told him he wants to play with his 2012 Olympic teammate.

The Wolves almost certainly won’t trade with Cleveland if it doesn’t include Wiggins.

Such a trade also likely would bring the Wolves 2013 No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett and possibly a future first-round draft pick. Depending on the eventual pieces, the Wolves and Cavaliers might need to find a third team to facilitate the trade to make sure all the exchanged salaries fit under league salary-cap rules without involving Cleveland center Anderson Varejao’s $9.8 million contract.

James recruited former Miami teammates Mike Miller and James Jones to sign with the Cavaliers in the last week, and the team is working to sign former Heat guard Ray Allen.

Love signed a four-year contract in January 2012 that gives him an out clause next summer and allows him to become an unrestricted free agent without the Wolves receiving any compensation. But he’d leave $26.5 million on the negotiating table if he signs with anybody but his current team, which in July 2015 can offer him an extra fifth year and larger raises than any other NBA team.

Love likely must agree either to opt in a year from now for the fourth year of his contract, or agree to sign an extension for the Cavaliers to part with Wiggins and Bennett. Multiple media reports in the last week have quoted sources close to Love as saying he is “intrigued” by the prospect of playing beside James.

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is believed to have talked at length this week about a trade with Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert, much as he did last month with Golden State owner Joe Lacob before those negotiations broke down.

Taylor, Gilbert and the league’s other 28 ownership groups were in Las Vegas this week for the NBA’s summer meetings.

Those discussions with Golden State ended last month after a framework for a deal including Thompson was reached but Lacob killed the deal on the advice of team consultant Jerry West, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations.

The Wolves’ discussions with Cleveland could prompt the Warriors or possibly Chicago to renew their pursuit of Love and sweeten their offers.

Wiggins — a 6-8 swingman from Canada who played one season at Kansas — is playing for the Cavaliers in the Las Vegas summer league. He is doing so without a rookie contract, either because Cleveland is waiting to make its final roster moves under its stretched salary cap before it signs him, or because it can’t trade him for 30 days after he signs that contract.

Or maybe they haven’t signed him yet for a combination of both reasons.

Wiggins has been inconsistent in Las Vegas but has shown flashes of the athleticism that made him last month’s top draft pick.

He wowed fans at UNLV’s packed Cox Pavilion Tuesday with a spin move around three defenders that created an electrifying two-handed dunk. The play led one long-time NBA scout to remark, “That’s why you can’t trade him. Crazy talent.”

But Wiggins, Bennett and other recent lottery picks Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters all are young and likely at least a few years away from being prominent pieces on a title-contending team, even with James by their side.

At age 25, Love’s presence probably elevates the Cavaliers from the second- or third-best team in their division into an immediate contender.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 14 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 5
Boston - WP: J. Tazawa 5 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: D. O`Day 3
Milwaukee - LP: J. Broxton 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Holdzkom 4
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: H. Kuroda 5
Washington - WP: D. Fister 3 FINAL
Miami - LP: T. Koehler 2
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Quintana 4 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Hellickson 3
NY Mets - WP: Z. Wheeler 5 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 0
Cleveland - LP: K. Crockett 4 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: J. Burton 5
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 10 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 1
Seattle - WP: T. Walker 10 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Peacock 5
Arizona - LP: C. Anderson 3 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. Lyles 15
Cincinnati - LP: D. Holmberg 1 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: J. Lackey 2
Philadelphia - LP: D. Buchanan 1 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Lester 3
Texas - WP: L. Bonilla 12 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: H. Santiago 3
San Francisco - LP: T. Hudson 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: O. Despaigne 5
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Colorado 1 FINAL
Real Salt Lake 5
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close