Wiggins for Love? Timberwolves, Cavs explore options
The Cleveland Cavaliers have relented and are willing to include Andrew Wiggins in a deal involving Kevin Love, an Ohio newspaper reported Thursday.
The Cavs and the Minnesota Timberwolves re-engaged in trade talks this week, multiple league sources said, in an attempt to bring Kevin Love to the Cavs.
Talks between the two teams were dormant until LeBron James returned to Cleveland last week, changing the landscape of negotiations and bringing the two teams back to the table.
One source with knowledge of the discussions told the Akron Beacon Journal even before James’ decision “no one is untouchable” on the Cavs in relation to a Love deal. That excludes Kyrie Irving, who isn’t eligible to be traded for six months after signing his extension.
The Morning Journal and News-Herald in Lorain, Ohio, reported Thursday that James wants Love to come to Cleveland.
Coaches and front-office executives polled in Las Vegas during the NBA summer league agreed that James ultimately will have the final say on the pursuit of Love. If he instructs the team to make a deal, they will.
The Timberwolves have insisted Wiggins be included in any real trade discussions with the Cavs. One league executive from a rival club said he wouldn’t trade Wiggins until the Cavs know whether he can fill the shooting guard position between Irving and James.
Indeed, the debate of a Wiggins/Love trade was polarizing among league executives and coaches in Las Vegas, with a handful holding strong views on both sides.
“LeBron is 29 and there are a lot of miles on those tires,” one NBA assistant coach said. “Make the deal. Win while you can.”
Love, 25, can become a free agent after the season. He would likely have to waive his early termination option, ensuring the Cavs would have him for at least two years, before the Cavs would commit to a deal.
Love is reportedly open to signing long term with the Cavs now that James is there.
Meanwhile, Golden State and the Wolves have revived their trade talks, but the San Jose Mercury News reported Thursday that Wiggins’ involvement would not be part of a three-way trade involving Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson.
Just a day earlier, Wolves owner Glen Taylor told NBA-TV he wants Love, who averaged a career-high 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds last season, to remain in Minnesota this season.
“My preference is that Kevin will come to (training) camp — and I’m sure he will — and play with the team,” Taylor said.
Love, who can opt out of his contract next July, repeatedly has said all he wants to do is win.
“I say back to Kevin, ‘Well, that’s all I want, too,’ ” Taylor said.
During the upcoming season, Taylor can offer Love a new contract worth $26 million more than any other team can offer. One remaining stumbling block is making the salaries match under the league’s trading rules, since Love will earn nearly $16 million this season, and Wiggins will make about $5 million as the top overall pick. But league executives in Las Vegas dismissed that as a serious problem because teams routinely find ways to make the money work.
The Akron Beacon Journal and St. Paul Pioneer Press contributed to this story.