It finally happened. LeBron James is back in Cleveland, and free agency can officially resume. The big question, of course, is if Kevin Love is to follow via trade, how soon might that deal be commenced?
It’s been mentioned in various places that Cleveland has already offered up Anthony Bennett, Dion Waiters, and a couple of first round picks for Love, but according to Darren Wolfson, Flip Saunders (appropriately) laughed that one off.
Despite Andrew Wiggins and Cavaliers claiming that he won’t be included in any Love-centric trade, Ken Berger has come back with the following:
As the LeBron after-effects crank up, word among multiple team execs is No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins will be in play in Kevin Love trade.
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 11, 2014
Yes, Cleveland is going to have to come to terms with the fact that the Wolves aren’t going to ship a top-six player out for a couple of quarters on the dollar simply because he might walk away from an extra $20-30 million next summer. Saunders has said as much; he’d rather give it a shot this year as coach and see what happens, similarly to what the Portland Trail Blazers did with an unhappy LaMarcus Aldridge. And look how that worked out.
Old friend Jerry Zgoda at the Star Tribune reports the best news of the day: Flip believes that he may be able to leverage an offer from Cleveland for a haul delivered by the Chicago Bulls. This is the dream offer: Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler, the rights to Nikola Mirotic, and Doug McDermott. It’s a package that I’ve been trumpeting as the best, “realistic” potential offer out there, and didn’t even think that Saunders would have the fortitude to try and get McDermott included, too.
That’s a trio of players that I’d pull the trigger on, with or without Dougie McBuckets included. Mirotic would be an absolute force next to Pekovic and playing in tandem with his countryman, Ricky Rubio. Butler has all of the tools to be a legitimate starting two-guard in the NBA. And Gibson is one of the best defensive players in the entire league.
If this trade is a possibility, it needs to happen. Any trade with Andrew Wiggins comes next in line, and then there’s a huge drop-off, especially since Golden State is apparently continuing to refuse to include Klay Thompson in any trade.
This is a fluid situation, but… NBA source says GSWs still haven’t/won’t put Klay Thompson into their offer to Minnesota for Kevin Love.
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) July 11, 2014
I’m perfectly happy to let Golden State wallow in their own stupidity, and choose between Wiggins and a haul from Chicago. Otherwise, Love stays. It’s as simple as that.