A Year Later, Kevin Love Trade Remains A Classic Win-Win


A year ago today, the Cleveland Cavaliers added another massive piece to what they hoped would be a championship team, and a year later it’s still one of the best trades ever. 

It has officially been a year since the Minnesota Timberwolves sent Kevin Love to Cleveland, thus completing at the time what we thought was a championship roster. As it turned out, there were still pieces that needed to be added and the end game wasn’t really what the Cavaliers would have liked. But despite losing in the NBA Finals and not having Kevin Love for more than three games in the postseason, this trade still remains one of the best we’ve seen in all of sports.

In case you forgot, here’s the breakdown of what everyone got in the deal:

Thaddeus Young came to Minnesota from the Philadelphia 76ers, who were involved with the trade and landed Alexey Shved and Luc Mbah a Moute from the Wolves and the Miami Heat’s protected 2015 first-round draft pick from Cleveland.

All in all, this was a win-win for the Cavs and Wolves, and likely why they did business again this summer at the Draft. The only real losers here are the 76ers, who were pulled in to help facilitate the trade but ended up with the worst pieces.  Mbah a Moute was really the only great piece the 76ers landed as the first-round pick went back to Miami since it was top-10 protected and Shved was dealt at the trade deadline.

But as far as Cleveland and Minnesota are concerned, this is one of the best deals either team has ever made.

Kevin Love took a while to mesh with the Cavaliers, and he wasn’t much help in the postseason after his arm was pulled out of its socket by Kelly Olynk. But the Cavaliers were able to re-sign Love this summer to a max deal that keeps him in Cleveland for the long-term, which is far more important than what he accomplished in his first season with the team.

The Wolves might be the real winners here, as they received pieces that are now cornerstones of their franchise moving forward. Andrew Wiggins went on to win the Rookie of the Year award and he is the perfect running mate with Ricky Rubio and Zach LaVine. In addition to Wiggins, the Wolves received Thaddeus Young, who wasn’t as much of a help as they maybe would have liked but was an instrumental piece in re-acquiring Kevin Garnett.

With Garnett back in the fold in Minnesota, a young and spunky team has a veteran leader to learn from and lean on moving forward which is going to be critical to their growth in the future.

When trying to pick winners in this trade, it’s hard to determine who really stands out above the other. While the Wolves aren’t going to compete for an NBA title this year, they are set up to be very good in the future. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers are in win-now mode, and Kevin Love is only going to grow more and more important to the future of this franchise.

A true dream scenario would be seeing the Wolves and Cavaliers meet in the NBA Finals at some point down the road. If they do, which is a real possibility, we can all go back to this trade as ground zero for the greatness of these two franchises.

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