Jul 25, 2014, 9:22 AM EDT
If I ran the Minnesota Timberwolves, I’d accept the Cavaliers’ trade offer – presumed to include Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, a future first-round pick and maybe other pieces to make the cap numbers work – for Kevin Love.
Sure, I’d use some of these 30 days Wiggins can’t be traded to try to induce a higher offer. Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott is a nice start, and maybe the Bulls improve that package. The Warriors wouldn’t trump Cleveland just by including Klay Thompson included, though maybe they come around.
But, most of all, I’m focused on Wiggins. He’s an incredible return for a player who can leave as a free agent in a year.
And it seems the Timberwolves are beginning to understand that.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Wolves, at present, are higher on a Cleveland trade package centered around Wiggins than any other offer on the table for Love.
One source insisted this week, however, that the Wolves — especially owner Glen Taylor — actually now prefer a package headlined by Wiggins to a Thompson-led haul for Love because Wiggins is widely seen as possessing superstar potential while also just starting out on a rookie contract. Thompson is eligible for a lucrative contract extension from the Warriors or any team he’s traded to between now and Halloween.
Preferring Wiggins to Thompson is completely logical, though logic alone doesn’t explain Minnesota’s change of heart. After all, Wiggins over Thompson was logical when reports emerged the Timberwolves preferred Thompson.
I see two leading possibilities for the turnaround:
2. Glen Taylor and Flip Saunders are on different pages. Perhaps Saunders, who actually has to coach these guys and is evaluated on his won-loss record, wants players ready to compete now. Taylor can take a long-term view and bet on Wiggins’ potential. They could be providing countering leaks based on their separate agendas.
If No. 1 is the case, who knows? Minnesota can do anything, but again, I’ll refer to the logic of taking Wiggins.
But if it’s No. 2, not only does logic dictate the Timberwolves take Cleveland’s offer, the owner usually gets his way – which means the Cavaliers are the true leaders in this race.
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