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Report: Cavs have trade, long-term extension in place for Kevin Love

Kevin LoveKevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers is as official as it can be without actually being official. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports that the Cavs and Minnesota Timberwolves have reached a deal for Love and that Love has agreed to sign a long-term extension with Cleveland.

As expected, the T-Wolves will get Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett in addition to a protected first-round pick. The deal cannot be finalized until Aug. 23 because of NBA rules prohibiting players from being traded within 30 days of signing a rookie contract.

Love has reportedly made a “firm agreement” with the Cavs that he will opt out of his current contract after the 2014-2015 season and sign a five-year extension worth around $120 million. Woj also added that the Cavs felt a sense of pressure to make the deal now knowing they would not have the salary cap space needed to sign Love as a free agent next summer. Had they not traded for him, the Chicago Bulls likely would have.

It does not appear that there is a third team involved in the trade, as was previously reported.

So what does it all mean? The return of LeBron James instantly made the Cavs a championship contender. The addition of Love makes them downright scary. While Wiggins is a phenomenal talent and could wind up being one of the best players in the league, Cleveland is likely better off with Love in the short term. LeBron will turn 30 next season, so time is somewhat of the essence.

Love is a proven talent and an NBA All-Star. If healthy,  LeBron, Love and Kyrie Irving have a chance to dominate a weak Eastern Conference.

Report: Cavs, T-Wolves have ‘handshake agreement’ for Kevin Love trade

Kevin LoveThe Cavaliers and Timberwolves reportedly have a handshake agreement in place to send Kevin Love to Cleveland. Since the Cavs signed Andrew Wiggins to a contract on July 25, NBA rules require them to wait 30 days before trading the former Kansas star.

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the 30-day waiting period is all the two teams are waiting for.

“The deal is done but not done,” Windhorst told ESPN New York Radio on Monday, via Matt Moore of CBSSports.com. “The teams have agreed but can’t say they’ve agreed because we’re in this weird moratorium period. Between now and then could a team come in with a trade that Minnesota doesn’t see? Yes, so it’s not done. But there is this handshake agreement.”

The T-Wolves have likely done their homework, so I doubt another team will have more to offer than Wiggins. Windhorst also noted that the Philadelphia 76ers are believed to be a third team involved in the deal. They would get former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett from Cleveland if all goes as planned, with Thad Young also going to Minnesota.

Reports have indicated all along that the Cavs’ offer is the best one the T-Wolves have for Kevin Love. Wiggins is considered by many to be a home run prospect who has even drawn comparisons to Kobe Bryant. Unless another team gets desperate and somehow blows Minnesota away, LeBron and Love will soon be teammates.

Cavs reportedly willing to include Andrew Wiggins in Kevin Love trade

Andrew-WigginsThe Cleveland Cavaliers are still interested in acquiring Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves, and they may be willing to pay a steep price for the star forward. According to Bob Finnan of The News-Herald, the Cavs are now open to including No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins in a potential trade for Love.

Finnan also reports that LeBron James wants Love on the Cavs roster, which could ultimately be the reason a deal gets done.

The Cavs were originally trying to finagle a trade with Minnesota that would allow them to hold onto Wiggins, but it quickly became clear that the Timberwolves have no interest in working out a deal with Cleveland if the former Kansas star is not involved. Given how many teams have expressed interest in Love, that is not a surprise.

Wiggins has already drawn comparisons to Kobe Bryant, despite never having appeared in an NBA game. The 19-year-old has tremendous potential and has looked pretty sharp in summer league games, averaging 13.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per game. That said, Love has already proven that he can dominate at the NBA level.

LeBron will turn 30 next season. If the Cavs hang onto Wiggins and allow him to grow alongside LeBron and Kyrie Irving, there’s a chance he could become one of the better players in the league. However, the thinking with acquiring Love is that the Cavs will be a better team in the short term and may not need as much time to be championship ready.

Personally, I don’t think the Cavs can lose whichever way they go. They might end up kicking themselves five years down the road if they trade Wiggins, but the hope would be that they have a championship or two to help soften the blow.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

LeBron James ‘not promising’ a championship in Cleveland

LeBron-James-Says-He-Misses-Ohio-FansLeBron James obviously plans to handle himself much differently this time around with the Cleveland Cavaliers. For starters, he made it clear in his announcement on Friday that he is “not promising” a championship.

“I’m not promising a championship,” LeBron said in the piece he wrote with the help of Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins. “I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010.”

That is not insignificant. Before the 2010 playoffs began, LeBron said in an interview that his goal was to win a championship with the Cavs and he was not going to stop until he achieved it. He then left Cleveland in a way that turned out to be the PR nightmare of the century. Now that he is back, LeBron knows he doesn’t need to set the expectations any higher than they already are.

“My patience will get tested. I know that,” James added. “I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach. I will be the old head. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn’t know they could go. I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these talented young guys.”

The Cavs will be the favorites to win the 2015 NBA championship, but that doesn’t mean it will happen. Teaming with a young guard like Kyrie Irving and other young players is much different than joining established veterans like Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. I’d be surprised if LeBron didn’t win a ring with the Cavs, but it might take two or three years.

In reality, we know LeBron’s second stint with Cleveland will be a failure without a championship. The fact that he said he isn’t promising it just shows he has learned from past experiences.

LeBron James is ‘coming home’ to Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron-CavsIt’s official. LeBron James has announced that he will return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In a move that many saw coming but still seemed too surreal, LeBron wrote an exclusive piece for Sports Illustrated on Friday (with the help of Lee Jenkins) announcing that he is “coming home.”

“My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball,” LeBron wrote. “I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.”

LeBron also expressed more regret over the way he left the Cavs four years ago, but added that he does not regret actually leaving.

“If I had to do it all over again, I’d obviously do things differently, but I’d still have left,” he said. “Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past four years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better player and a better man.”

Despite Dan Gilbert’s nasty letter, LeBron said he always knew he would return to Cleveland and finish his career there.

“I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there,” said James. “I just didn’t know when.”

Considering he is only 29 and will likely sign one more huge contract after this one expires, LeBron should be careful what he says. No one would be shocked if he didn’t finish his career in Cleveland, but I suppose that’s not the point.

James got the monkey off his back by winning two championships with the Miami Heat. He now has a chance to play the hero in his home state and finish what he started. It’s not often athletes get a second chance. LeBron will try to make the best of his.

LeBron James once said he won’t stop until he wins a championship for Cavs

LeBron-CavsLeBron James once basically promised the people of Cleveland that he was going to win them an NBA championship. If he doesn’t return to the Cleveland Cavaliers before his career ends, that will be impossible. If you have followed The Decision 2.0, you know that many people are already convinced LeBron is going back home.

As for that promise, here’s what LeBron said during an interview with NBA TV before the 2010 playoffs.

“I’ve got a goal, and it’s a huge goal,” LeBron said at the time. “That’s to bring a championship here to Cleveland and I won’t stop until I get it.”

Cliche? Sure. Forgotten? Psh, of course not.

There’s a reason Cavs fans burned LeBron’s jersey when he left for the Miami Heat. He still plays the “just a kid from Akron” angle masterfully, and the people of his home state feel that LeBron betrayed them. James knows that. Will he try to make amends?

LeBron returning to Cleveland would be one of the most unique stories in professional sports history. At some point this week, LeBron changed his Twitter cover photo to include the quote “I Promise.” While that phrase relates to LeBron’s charitable foundation, some people wonder if it has a more hidden meaning.

If you ask me, there are only two possible outcomes to this situation. Either LeBron is signing with the Cavs, or he is more heartless than people thought. His agents have had every opportunity to “leak” information to put a stop to the Cleveland speculation, and they have chosen not to. Some argue that LeBron might be using the Cavs to build leverage against the Miami Heat, but would he really use Cleveland as a pawn after the way he left four years ago? Maybe I’m naive, but I highly doubt it.

Cavs reportedly trying to trade for Kevin Love if they get LeBron James

Kevin LoveThe Cleveland Cavaliers will pursue a trade for Kevin Love if they’re able to sign LeBron James, according to a report.

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday that the Cavs are pursuing a trade for Love contingent on the signing of James.

The Cavs have made some major moves to clear cap space in an attempt to sign LeBron. They traded Jarrett Jack and Sergey Karasev to the Brooklyn Nets as part of a three-team deal that helped them free cap space for a max contract offer to James.

I know this sounds intriguing and like LeBron to Cleveland is a done deal, but don’t get carried away yet.

Say Cleveland miraculously signs LeBron — which I don’t think happens anyway — who says the T-Wolves are just going to give them Love? What will the Cavs offer Minnesota? You really think the T-Wolves are dying to get their hands on Anthony Bennett or Dion Waiters? Give me a break. Don’t forget it’s not David Kahn there making deals anymore. They’re not a bunch of morons.

I still think LeBron returning to Cleveland is a huge long shot, and I think the Cavs getting Love if they sign LeBron is an even bigger long shot. We’ll see what happens.