Apr 4, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) is pressured by Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) during the second half at American Airlines Arena. The Minnesota Timberwolves won in 2 overtimes 122-121. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Is it possible for Kevin Love to end up in Cleveland with LeBron James?


In short, no. I mean, sure, it’s technically possible for Kevin Love to end up in Cleveland with LeBron James. (Almost) anything is possible. But it’s far from likely.

Despite what those breathtakingly excited (and who can blame them) Cavaliers fans on Twitter may be conjuring up in their ridiculously optomistic but spinning-rapidly-with-LeBron-news heads, it’s a pretty hard scenario to envision.

Let’s start with the obvious: Cleveland still has to clear some pretty significant cap space for the Return of the King. There are some pretty hideous salaries that must still be foisted upon other organizations — Jarrett Jack (three-years, $18.9 million remaining), Anthony Bennett (more than $5.5 million next year, and two team options for the following two years at a similar cost) are a couple that come to mind.

Of course, LeBron seems to be leaning towards deciding that Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao, and possibly Tristan Thompson, plus cap space to sign another star are enough to lure him back “home” to Cleveland. If that’s indeed true, we can move forward with the expectation that Cleveland needs to continue clearing space for another star, and one of the other players that they’re targeting is likely Love.

Truthfully, the Cavs do not have a ton to offer in exchange for Love. Granted, it’s a far, far more likely scenario than any swap with say, the Lakers, but it’ll still be tough. Andrew Wiggins would have to be included (I’ve gone on record as thinking that he will not be a star, but Flip Saunders and the Wolves’ front office loves him), but beyond that, it gets dicey.

Another interesting piece that would absolutely need to be included is a future first round pick of the Miami Heat. The pick is top 10 protected in 2015 and 2016, but becomes unprotected in the 2017 NBA Draft. In a post-LeBron, post-Chris Bosh, and post/old-Dwayne Wade South Beach, that pick could be golden.

So we have Wiggins and the Miami Heat first round pick heading to Minnesota. They’d likely ask for Thompson as well, and the Cavs would not need him if they were getting Love in return. The Wolves would also want some future picks, but those picks would clearly be worth a lot less if Cleveland is building a Kyrie Irving/Love/LeBron super team.

Again, Cleveland would need to find takers for Jack, Bennett, and others. Jack absolutely would not be headed to the Wolves, but there’s a chance that Flip could be talked into taking both last year’s number one overall pick in Bennett and this year’s in Wiggins. Personally, I’d ask for Wiggins, Thompson, Sergey Karasev, the Miami pick, and another future first-rounder. (This would be a fairly distant second place to a Chicago Bulls deal that brings back Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, and Nikola Mirotic. Alas, it does not appear that this will happen.)

I expect James to head back to Cleveland, and they’ll do whatever they need to for Kevin Love or another comparable star. At this point, I doubt that Love ends up there, if only because the Cavs won’t have the assets that the Wolves crave. But you never know.

Tags: Kevin Love Kyrie Irving LeBron James Minnesota Timberwolves NBA

  • Don Andrew Halvorson

    Drugs are bad.

  • Johnny Ballgame

    Moving Jack is simple. They already have the deal in place. You can read that anywhere. And moving Thornton’s expiring would be easy with a pick attached to it. Read that anywhere. That’s all common sense. Making the deal for Love then comes down to what Minny wants. But the longer Minny waits the less leverage they have. The Cavs have more to offer than almost anyone. Waiters, Thompson, Wiggins, Bennett and up to three number ones this upcoming year. (all those players were drafted very high and thought to still have big upside). don’t forget, they were in a defensive system and will all look much better under any other coach! Mike Brown was possibly the WORST offensive coach ever. In my opinion Minny has a very good chance to come out smelling like roses considering Love leaves for nothing and soon.

  • Brad

    If Cleveland offers you Wiggins for the last year of Kevin Love… you accept and hang up the phone before they regret the decision. I’m not sure what to call you, besides ‘hater’, but you are in a minority that thinks Wiggins will be a bust.

  • Aj Walkin

    Please take a moment to admire the great LeBron for the special talent he is. It never gets old looking at the King’s history. So many accomplishments Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan will never achieve:

    1.Only player in nba history to quit because of air conditioner
    2.Quit on his team the year after he promises a championship
    3.Dunked on by a highschool kid and then confiscate tape
    4.Bail on the dunk contest 9 times
    5.Only able to win a ring with 2 superstars
    6.play on same team as his moms boyfriend
    7.Average 1.8 pts in the 4th quarter of NBA finals.
    8.Lose not 1, not 2, but 3 times in the Finals.
    9.Host a national televised TV show to leave his team
    10.Go 2 for 18 in an NBA playoff game.
    11.Get stuffed by a player under 6 feet (Nate Robinson)
    12.Flop every single game in the playoffs
    13.Choke 4 out of 5 finals games by dropping FG% by 18
    14.0 Rings if not for refs calling early fouls on Durant and Westbrook it threw them out of rhythm, made them play soft and sit for big parts of the game which changed the flow and momentum of the finals.
    15. bronze 2004 and bronze 2006

    • James DeWolf

      This is not original, use your time more wisely and come up with something new.

  • Craig Daniels

    It’s a fact LeBron comes love will come to its all ready been stated.

    It will be kevin love and Kmart for Wiggins,waiters,and Thompson that offer was proposed weeks ago and rejected because love would commit yet.

  • sportsfriends

    The Wolves need to take full advantage of Cleveland getting strung along by Lebron. He is setting them up for another public rejection, but their push is no doubt aggressive. http://www.sportsfriendsmn.com/2014/07/the-pieces-are-in-place.html

  • DB

    What do you mean the cavs don’t have much to offer? Minnesota will get nothing if they don’t trade love this year. The cavs have tons of first round picks AND andrew wiggins. That is the OPPOSITE of not having much to offer. No free agents will come to minnesota so they need young players like wiggins and first round picks.

    • Believelander

      Yeah, they actually have the most to offer. The only thing that confuses me is why they didn’t structure any of the assets they just dropped on Boston into the Love deal, but I guess they needed to be rid of cap space.

  • Believelander

    Well, the Cavs cleared all the obstacles in their path now that you mentioned, so apparently David Griffin reads your blog. Now we’re just waiting on Flip and ‘Bron. Cheers for the advice!