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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.

T-Wolves owner: We are likely trading Kevin Love

Kevin LoveAll indications have been that the Minnesota Timberwolves were going to trade Kevin Love, and the team’s owner essentially confirmed that.

T-Wolves owner Glen Taylor told the St. Paul Pioneer Press‘ Charley Walters about the team’s plans.

“I’m saying it’s most likely because Kevin has made it pretty clear that that’s what he wants to do,” Taylor told the Pioneer Press.

Walters says a deal is expected Aug. 23 or 24 because that is when the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are the likely trade partner, would be able to deal No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins signed his rookie contract with the Cavs on July 24 and cannot be traded for a month per league rules.

Walters says the Warriors, Bulls and 76ers could also try to make plays for Love, but Cleveland likely has the strongest offer on the table.

This is no surprise — everything has pointed to this deal getting done. And given the circumstances, the Timberwolves would be receiving a heck of a return by getting back Wiggins and another player/pick or two. Wiggins is going to be a star. Love was going to leave them in a year anyway. This will be a great deal for both sides.

Cavs’ Andrew Wiggins trade offer for Kevin Love said to be the best

Kevin Love mustache

Kevin Love is still with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Cleveland Cavaliers are still said to be the leaders to acquire him.

Here’s what ESPN’s Marc Stein tweeted on Thursday about a potential Love trade:

The T-Wolves have resisted trading Love and still have him under contract for another season, but they risk losing him and receiving nothing in return. It makes much more sense for them to trade him for a potential All-Star like Andrew Wiggins.

Though there has been a lot of chatter about other teams getting in the trade mix for Love, it’s pretty clear that the Cavs present the best offer.

Cleveland signed Wiggins Thursday, meaning they can’t trade him for 30 days. Once that passes, Minnesota should do the trade.

Report: Bulls ‘biggest threat’ to Cavs in Kevin Love sweepstakes

Kevin LoveThe Minnesota Timberwolves have put themselves in a great position to get maximum value for Kevin Love. By being patient and not unloading Love the minute he said he wanted out, the T-Wolves have created a bidding war for their All-Star forward. In addition to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Chicago Bulls are also reportedly making a strong push to land Love.

Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of ESPN report that the Bulls are the Cavs “biggest threat” in the Love sweepstakes.

Sources say that the Bulls, though, have re-entered the race and would appear to be the biggest threats to the Cavs, thanks largely to the Golden State Warriors’ resolute unwillingness to add longtime Wolves target Klay Thompson in any deal.

Although the full extent of the Bulls’ offer wasn’t immediately known, it is believed Minnesota would seek a package from Chicago featuring forward Taj Gibson and defensive ace Jimmy Butler in addition to other assets. The Bulls shelved their Love interest while trying to sign Carmelo Anthony away from the New York Knicks but, according to sources, have re-emerged as contenders.

We can probably assume that the Cavs still have an advantage in that they have the most intriguing player to offer. Andrew Wiggins has the highest ceiling of any player that has been discussed as part of a Love package. Still, one report indicates that the T-Wolves are ready to pull the trigger on the Love-Wiggins deal but the Cavs are unwilling to part with future first-round picks.

If the Bulls are willing to offer first rounders in addition to Gibson and company, Minnesota might be inclined to blow off the Cavs. The Bulls missed out on Carmelo Anthony, so they could get antsy. In all likelihood, the Wolves have the Cavs exactly where they want them. They want Wiggins, and LeBron supposedly wants Love. Getting the Bulls involved can only drive up the price.

Coach K would trade Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love without hesitation

Kevin LoveOpinions on whether the Cleveland Cavaliers should trade Andrew Wiggins to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love have been split. On one side, you have the people who believe Wiggins is a rare prospect who could eventually be one of the best players in the NBA. On the other, the argument is that Love is already an All-Star and you know what you are getting with him. Duke and Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski belongs to the latter group.

During an interview with John Feinstein on CBS Sports Radio Monday, Coach K said he would make the trade “right away” if he were running the Cavs.

“I think there’s absolutely not one second of hesitancy,” Coach K said. “I’d trade for Kevin Love. That’s not saying anything about any of the other (players involved in the deal). Love’s an All-Star. He’s a double-double guy, but he’s a double-double guy that can spread the court. There aren’t many double-double guys, if any, who spread the court. He can go inside and outside.”

Krzyzewski, who has coached Love with Team USA, also brought up a point that I agree with — LeBron is pushing 30 and isn’t exactly a young player anymore.

“You look at LeBron and you have the best player in the world,” Coach K added. “He’s 29. I’m not saying he’s at the end of his career, but he’s in the second half of his career, let’s put it that way. And in the first half of his career, he was becoming a great player. He was a great talent becoming a great player. That takes time – just like if Wiggins or (Anthony) Bennett are going to be great, it’s not going to happen right now. They’re great talents. LeBron is a great player right now. You do not want to waste any year of a great player’s career.”

As I mentioned before, the Cavs would only regret dealing Wiggins for Love if it didn’t turn into a championship. If Cleveland wins one or two titles with LeBron and Love and Wiggins becomes Kobe Bryant, there would be no regrets. The Cavs have never won an NBA championship, so any trade they make that helps them win one is worthwhile.

Assuming the Cavs are willing to include Wiggins in a potential Love trade, it is probably the Timberwolves that are holding up the deal. Now that they have gotten the offer they want from Cleveland, an even more aggressive bidding war for Love is taking place.

H/T Eye on Basketball

LeBron James reached out to Kevin Love about playing together

LeBron James Kevin LoveIf there were any doubt about who’s running the Cleveland Cavaliers, it’s been cleared up.

The same day a report emerged saying the Cavaliers were willing to include Andrew Wiggins in a trade for Kevin Love, we also learned that LeBron reached out to the Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star.

Yahoo! Sports reports that James reached out to Love to express a desire to play together on the Cavs.

Love is entering the final season of his contract and has told the T-Wolves he will not re-sign with them. He has tried to pressure the team into trading him, but Minnesota is holding out for the best possible offer.

Yahoo! also says the Cavs are now willing to include Wiggins in a trade for Love, but they say Cleveland would need an additional team to be involved in the deal.

So far James has gotten James Jones and Mike Miller to sign with the Cavs, and he’s working on bringing Ray Allen to Cleveland, too. If he’s able to get Love on the squad, the Cavs will definitely be a championship-quality team. As a great rebounder, passer and outside shooter, Love is a perfect complement to James.

Trading Wiggins would not be easy. I think he’s going to be an awesome player. But Love can help bring the Cavs a championship in the next couple of seasons, and that’s what the Cavs are going for.