The Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves, as expected, have reportedly agreed to a deal in principle that would send Anthony Bennett, Andrew Wiggins and a protected first-round pick to Minnesota for Kevin Love. Love is also reportedly open to opting out of his current contract’s final year and signing a five-year extension with the Cavs.
Just a couple of months ago before LeBron James’ re-decision transpired, it appeared all but certain that Love would be with the Golden State Warriors before the fall. As in any trade, rumors swirled around players like Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, David Lee and Draymond Green as potential players being swapped for Love. Barnes and Lee especially seemed like their departure for Minnesota was imminent. Such prevalent trade talks can damage a player’s confidence and make him feel unwanted by his current team. This is especially true for the young Barnes, who has struggled with playing confident basketball the past season after the Warriors’ acquisition of Andre Iguodala. Lee has been a consummate professional throughout his tenure with Golden State, despite being on the hot seat throughout much of it and receiving little affirmation as a 20-point, 10-rebound guy.
The other entity damaged by the Love trade never coming to fruition is general manager Bob Myers and the Golden State front office. The front office was visibly split on dealing Thompson, who is clearly an inferior player to Love, showing a lack of unity and vision among Golden State executives. A front office manages the business of the Warriors, and for businesses, maintaining an impression of unity and cohesive action is imperative for its reputation around the league. The Love trade has had more fallout than might be apparent, and it will take Myers’ office some time to repair its reputation with both the players and around the league.