The 2014 offseason has been one for the record books, especially if you’re a fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers. After nabbing the prized free agent in LeBron James in the midst of July, the free agency dominoes started to fall for the Cavs. LeBron was able to recruit former teammates and sharpshooters James Jones and Mike Miller, and now the team seems to be on the verge of landing veterans Ray Allen and Shawn Marion. Players have deliberately chosen to play in Cleveland, and now the Cavs have added one more piece to their championship puzzle with the addition of Kevin Love.
According to league sources who spoke with Yahoo Sports, the Minnesota Timberwolves have reached an agreement in principle with the Cavaliers to send Kevin love to Cleveland. Minnesota would receive 2014 No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins, 2013 No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett and a protected 2015 first-round draft pick. This deal has been in the making for some time, and it was more a matter of not if the deal will go down but when.
Earlier reports indicated that the Timberwolves turned down the aforementioned offer from the Cavs, asking for additional first-round picks. The Cavaliers didn’t rebuttal with a bulkier package, so Minnesota became open to listening to other offers from teams such as the Chicago Bulls. No deal could match what the Cavaliers were offering, so it seemed inevitable that Kevin Love would be parting ways with the Timberwolves.
But then the Cavs signed Wiggins to his rookie contract, making him untradeable for a 30-day period. Signed on July 24, that meant that the Cavaliers wouldn’t be able to include Wiggins in any trade package until August 23. Then this past weekend Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor announced that Kevin Love would be traded on August 23 or 24. This further foreshadowed that the Cavaliers would indeed be giving up Wiggins in order to land Kevin Love.
So where do we stand now? One of the big reasons why a trade wasn’t happening quicker was because of a lack of long-term commitment from Kevin Love. The Cavaliers didn’t want to give up so much potential talent just to have Love walk away from the team in the summer of 2015. According to Yahoo Sports, Cleveland has reached a “firm agreement” with the Timberwolves to have Love opt out of his contract next summer and re-sign with the Cavaliers for five years and $120 million-plus.
Kevin Love will be the third piece in the Cavaliers “Big Three,” consisting now of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. A third All-Star in the mix puts the Cavaliers in contention for an NBA title one season after winning just 33 games. In 77 games with Minnesota last season, Love averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists, while shooting 45.7 percent from the field, 37.6 percent from three and 82.1 percent from the free throw line. At 25-years old, Kevin Love has room to grow and adds a whole new dynamic to this Cavaliers team.