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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.

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 does not mention Andrew Wiggins, who could be traded for Kevin Love

Kevin LoveThe Cleveland Cavaliers made the biggest offseason splash their franchise will ever make on Friday when LeBron James announced he is coming back home, and they may not be done dealing just yet. A previous report indicated that the Cavs would try to trade for Kevin Love if they were able to sign LeBron. That remains a definite possibility.

In the piece that he wrote with Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins, LeBron mentioned how it will be a “long process” before he and his new teammates are a championship contender. He went on to name a few of them including Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and Anderson Varejao. LeBron did not mention Andrew Wiggins.

I think I can help Kyrie Irving become one of the best point guards in our league. I think I can help elevate Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. And I can’t wait to reunite with Anderson Varejao, one of my favorite teammates.

You could argue that he only mentioned a few names so leaving Wiggins out was a coincidence, but I doubt that is the case. There has to be a reason James left out the No. 1 overall pick in the draft when touching on Cleveland’s potential. In all likelihood, the Cavs are exploring trade possibilities for Kevin Love and the Timberwolves want Wiggins.

Naturally, Love has reportedly said he would sign long term if dealt to the Cavs.

The Cavs will be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference with either Wiggins or Love, but Love is a proven NBA difference maker. Wiggins is a bit more of a gamble, albeit one that could pay huge dividends in a few years.

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.

Lakers, Warriors, T-Wolves talking 3-way trade involving Klay Thompson and Kevin Love

Klay ThompsonThe Lakers are in talks with the Warriors about acquiring Klay Thompson as part of a three-way trade also involving the Minnesota Timberwolves and Kevin Love, according to a report.

The Los Angeles Times’ Mike Bresnahan reports that the Lakers are talking about trading the No. 7 overall pick in the draft to Golden State for Thompson. This piece would be part of a larger deal that would send Love to the Warriors.

Lakers fans have been wishing for years that the team would acquire Love, so it would have to be a huge disappointment for them if the team is involved in a Love trade but not acquiring the All-Star.

Thompson, 24, averaged 18.4 points per game on 44.4 percent shooting from the field last season. He made 2.8 threes per game and shot 41.7 percent from long range.

If the Lakers decide to keep the No. 7 pick, Bresnahan says they are considering big men Aaron Gordon, Julius Randle and Noah Vonleh or point guards Dante Exum, Marcus Smart and Elfrid Payton. They could also see what happens with Joel Embiid, who is expected to miss several months after having foot surgery this week.

I’m very curious to see what the T-Wolves would get in this deal. The Lakers would not be able to trade their pick until after the draft, so it’s possible they could end up selecting a player for Minnesota.