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Report: Cavaliers leading Kevin Love-trade sweepstakes

Jul 25, 2014, 9:22 AM EDT

Kevin Love Kevin Love

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.

Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

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:

1. This is just the Timberwolves encouraging teams to outbid each other. There has been circumstantial evidence of that already.

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.

  1. football58 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    Who is in the lead if Cleveland refuses to include Wiggins and Golden State refuses to include Thompson?

    • jeffkx - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:27 AM

      Cleveland would be, as Love said today the Cavs are the only team he’s re-sign with. Like I said yesterday, the Cavs have a good chance to get Love without giving up Wiggins.

      http://factoryofsadness.co/2014/07/25/report-stephen-smith-says-kevin-love-sign-cle/

      • thewizkid89 - Jul 25, 2014 at 12:08 PM

        I strongly disagree. I think Golden State would be.
        What can Cleveland really offer, without Wiggins? Bennet, Waiters, Thompson, and maybe some picks that will be in the bottom of the first round.
        No way Minnesota takes that.
        Then i think they would rather have Lee, Barnes or maybe even go for some combination of Mirotic, Butler, and Gibson.
        But i honestly can’t see a deal being made without, either Wiggins/Thompson.

        I don’t understand why Golden State doesn’t pull the trigger their team would be so much better with Kevin Love, than with Lee and Thompson.

      • feb16oh - Jul 25, 2014 at 2:31 PM

        I got news for ya, wizkid, if Love will only sign with Cavs then Minnesota is at their mercy. Why would Golden State even offer a package?

      • twinfan24 - Jul 25, 2014 at 7:19 PM

        If Cavs won’t include Wiggins, don’t bother making the trade. Everyone that keeps saying the Cavs have all the leverage keep forgetting the Wolves don’t HAVE to trade Love right now. Bring him to training camp. Make him play and hear the boos. Then, trade him at the deadline, or let him walk after the season if no one will give you anything. I’d rather they get nothing back than to take on a bunch of bad contracts for average rotation guys.

    • tv63 - Jul 26, 2014 at 9:13 PM

      Now there is conflicting reports Love won’t sign another year. All bets are off in that case. That’s too much to give up for a 1 year rental.

  2. titansbro - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    Jeez, it’s not a race, no one is in “the lead.” At this point I’d be happy not hearing anything else about this until a trade is made.

    • rrhoe - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:42 AM

      I gladly second that notion!!!!!!

  3. 00maltliquor - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    Report: No flippin DUH

    In other news, I’d prefer Kiera Knightly over Rosie O’Donnell.

    • papichulo55 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:44 AM

      To each his own….

      • titansbro - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:48 AM

        not my fave either as she is way too skinny, but that can’t be real.

      • 00maltliquor - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:13 AM

        LMMFAOOO!!! It’s not real titansbro, it’s photoshopped. Look at the website: destination “creation”

        That was a good one though chulo! Had me rollin’!
        KK ain’t my first choice either, she is very hot, but it was the 1st name that popped in my head. And IDC WHO you are, KK should be your consensus #1 choice over Rosie O’Donnell! Lol

      • antistratfordian - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:48 PM

        Still take Knightly over O’Donnell even if that was real.

      • longtallsam - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:15 PM

        Is that real? If so, she should be the poster girl for anorexia. I like women slim and trim as anyone, but that is grotesque.

    • loungefly74 - Jul 25, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      KK…yeah…I’d be her Mr. Darcy to her Elizabeth Bennet. Oh yeah…dropping some mad Jane Austin props over here!

      • 00maltliquor - Jul 25, 2014 at 1:04 PM

        I think Google might be my friend on this one. Lol

  4. rodge1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    This is going to be one scary team that doesn’t play defense

    • antistratfordian - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:54 PM

      Except they have one of the best defenders in the league on their team, so… not really. And Kevin Pelton is skeptical about Love’s reputation as a poor defender:

      “Numbers don’t support Love as a defensive liability.

      Even the biggest Love skeptic would concede his prowess as a scorer and rebounder — right before bringing up the defensive end. Here’s the thing: It’s hard to find statistical support for the widespread notion that Love is a defensive turnstile.

      …Add it up and E.S.P.N.’s real plus-minus shows Love as an above-average defensive player, even for a big man.”

  5. elcapitanfiscal - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    Lakers suck.

  6. mungman69 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    Enough stories already, make the trade! Oh, that’s right, we have to wait 30 (29) days. Good Lord!

  7. chicagosports2014 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    We gonna drive the price back up, In a few weeks

  8. cmart0907 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    Can we just wait until Andrew Wiggins 30 days is over until we read another article about this?

  9. n2thaizzo - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    Does it matter who they get in return? That player(s) will be gone as soon as he can anyway…

  10. pacodawg - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    Great reporting! We knew that 2 weeks ago

  11. seasickcecil - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    http://es.pn/1pgBxmf

  12. greatmiamisportsmind - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    Should Chicago even be mentioned?

    Chicago: “yeah, I’ve a package put together for Kevin Love? Want to hear it?”

    Minnesota: “yeah let’s hear it.”

    Chicago: “it’s center around Taj Gibson”

    Minnesota: “hahahahaha” click

    • casualcommenter - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:44 AM

      That package is better than Cleveland’s if Cleveland doesn’t include Wiggins.

    • rosloe62 - Jul 25, 2014 at 12:37 PM

      Without Wiggins the Bulls deal is far better.

  13. smoochytherhino - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    Note to Flip: if you don’t share your owner’s agenda, you likely don’t have a job for long (save for the Donald Sterling mess, that is).

  14. football58 - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    Any team can trade for Love, if he doesn’t like the team lets really see him walk away from the extra money.

  15. seasickcecil - Jul 25, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    Love will get max money as a free agent anywhere he signs. He’s not walking away from anything.

  16. peopletrains - Jul 25, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    If the Wiggins deal implodes.. I’d say chat with Denver about Gary Harris…

  17. papacrick - Jul 25, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    If Cleveland knows they won’t win it all this year why the hell would you trade Wiggins and all this other talent when Love will sign with them next year and then you can have everyone. Makes no sense whatsoever this is just baffling

    • davidly - Jul 25, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      Couldn’t agree more. I would think any Cav’s fan (or LBJ fan, for that matter) would be salivating over the chance to see what Wiggins can do with James on the floor — and then consequently, the other way around.

    • antistratfordian - Jul 25, 2014 at 6:00 PM

      They don’t know that they won’t win it all this year. If they get Love they could win it all.

  18. rosloe62 - Jul 25, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Bulls please pull your offer and move on. Let Cleveland have Love. McDurmott can end up being as good as Love in the long run if Tibs gets him to play strong D. and right now he’ll get paid a lot less. Plus I’d rather not lose both Mirotic and Gibson.

  19. seasickcecil - Jul 25, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    Ok folks here it is. My vote for dumbest post of the day. “McDurmott can end up being as good as Love.” A Kyle Korver wannabe being compared to a borderline superstar like Love. We have a winner here folks.

  20. davidly - Jul 25, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    I’m tellin’ ya, the Cavs have all the leverage and should wait until Christmas and get him for bubkus. If Love heads somewhere else, so be it. It doesn’t mean he’ll sign with them, and Cleveland will still have as young and stellar a core that a team could hope for in this league.

  21. jrob23 - Jul 25, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    Everyone should know by now that Love will end up in CLE. It’s what the NBA feels is best, what Lebron wants, and we have learned the NBA gets what they want. The league is pretty fixed. Stop pretending there are other options. I can’t believe after all these years of evidence that the NBA is outright fixed that people still speculate. The league needs a few strong teams to get good ratings. Nobody is watching Timberwolves games with or without Love…so send him to CLE (without LJ nobody would watch them) and you have instant championship caliber teams. The league cannot afford for Lebron to barely make the playoffs and get ousted in the first or second round. It’s so painfully obvious and it makes me sad how dumb people are still talking about other possible destinations. Have you not been paying attention the last 30 years?

  22. polkhigh4life - Jul 25, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    The bulls are not blowing up the most depth they’ve had on the bench since 98 for a guy that’s been on trade block since 98… Yet no1 will pull the trigger…no d, inflated stats., a career team loser, 120 million, averages a crazy double double yet never made an NBA 1st team (rookie doesn’t count) If all Cleveland has to give up for him is unproven bums and potential (dunno what that means) in wiggins that’s a steal of a deal… still keeps the my Bulls as the favorite….

  23. tampajoey - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    Has anything “new” really come out about the Love to Cavs rumors started 2 weeks ago? No, do we really need multiple daily articles about nothing? This off-season is becoming annoying.

  24. longtallsam - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:25 PM

    Seems to me, it is really Love who has the leverage. If he really wants to play with Lebron, then he should want the Cleveland team to remain as strong as possible, and not be decimated in a trade for him. So if he tells every other team that Cleveland is the only team he will sign an extension with, then Cleveland could probably offer the best package, even without including Wiggins. It just takes some collusion between Love and the Cavaliers.

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