If you take a look at the Cleveland Twitter scene, it seems like, after LeBron James, the second-most popular player for the Cleveland Cavaliers isn’t even on the team. With James in tow, all Cavs fans are now wondering about Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love.
Is Cleveland still the front-runner to land Love via trade? Would he resign with the Cavs if they did acquire him? Is top draft pick Andrew Wiggins worth losing in order to get Love? Take these questions, add at least 100 more, then toss in the word “sources” used by the kind of people who likely don’t have any, and you’ve got Cavs Twitter in a nutshell.
It’ll be this way until Love is eventually traded, whenever and wherever it ends up taking place. The one constant in all of the rumors is Wiggins has to be in the deal. However, is there still a sliver of hope the Cavs can hang on to their rookie while still acquiring Love?
At first glance, it certainly doesn’t appear likely. Flip Saunders, President of Basketball Operations for the T’Wolves, can ill afford to deal one of his team’s best players without getting significant returns. Despite Wiggins signing his rookie deal, which prevents him from being traded for 30 days, a deal can still be agreed upon in principle. At the moment, Vegas odds favor Wiggins playing somewhere else if the Cavs have Love on opening night.
There’s a chance, though, for a wrinkle in the process. According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, Love may have told Minnesota he wants to be traded to Cleveland. Convenient? Sure, but there’s a chance that, if this is true, it could help the Cavs in a big way.
First of all, if something like this picks up steam, it may deter other interested teams from making big offers for Love. Why give up crucial assets for a player who, while incredibly talented, may have already made it known he doesn’t want to play for your team? Sure, he could be convinced to hang around if he ends up playing the final year of his contract on another squad, but it’s a huge risk which will backfire the second it appears Love will only be a rental.
For these reasons, such a message from Love could drastically impact Saunders’ leverage, which isn’t really too high right now. Minnesota already knows Love won’t resign next year, and they know if he’s on their roster come opening night it’ll be a big distraction for teammates and fans alike. So, if you have a team who realizes they don’t want to deal with a player being a disruption, and said player possibly stated he wants to be traded to Cleveland, it would certainly give the Cavs a chance to play hardball and perhaps tailor a deal without including Wiggins.
It may sound lofty, but situations like this have happened before. It wasn’t too long ago that Carmelo Anthony told the Denver Nuggets he wanted to be traded to the New York Knicks, forcing the team to take a less favorable deal. Love hasn’t taken things that far, but who knows how this will play out if he indeed asked the T’Wolves to send him to Cleveland. Things could snowball to the point where Minnesota has to take a weaker deal out of fear of losing Love for nothing next summer.
Again, it all comes back to the “if” aspect I had to lace this entire article with. As everyone learned in the LeBron saga, everything needs to be taken with a grain of salt until official news breaks. For all we know, these latest Love rumors could be nothing but hearsay.
However, if new Cleveland GM David Griffin can net Love without losing Wiggins in the same offseason in which he signed LeBron, the NBA might have to give out their Executive of the Year Award way earlier than planned.