Do it for America, Cleveland.
According to U.S.A. Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo, Kevin Love could still play for Team USA during the FIBA World Cup at the end of the summer. Games begin on August 30, and the 12-man roster does not need to be finalized until 24 hours before competition begins.
Awfully optomisitic of Mr. Colangelo, one would think. Then again, it’s just another sign that the Love-to-Cavaliers swap is all but in place. That pesky moratorium on trading Andrew Wiggins ends on August 23, so that gives the Wolves and Cavs a week to consummate a deal in order to allow the best power forward in the NBA to be able to represent his country in interntional competition.
The timeline is certainly tight, and of course Love has not been participating in training camp either. It’s tough to see Team U.S.A. not welcoming the superstar big man with open arms, as winning at FIBA is far from a forgone conclusion, especially without a roster chock-full of absolute, top-flight American talent.
Additionally, there has been another (slight) development on the Kevin Love trade front. John Paxson, Chicago’s V.P. of Basketball Operations, apparently let it slip that Nikola Mirotic was not guaranteed that he would not be included in a trade after committing to leaving Spain and joining the NBA.
John Paxson just admitted on ESPN that Mirotic wasn’t guaranteed he wouldn’t be traded. That’s not how the business works.
— Sun-Times Basketball (@suntimes_hoops) July 31, 2014
I’m not sure this changes a lot, based on what we’ve heard regarding Flip Saunders’ burning desire to acquire Andrew Wiggins. While a Taj Gibson/Doug McDermott/Nikola Mirotic deal would tempt me greatly, the idea of Wiggins is certainly growing on the best of us.
If I were Saunders, I would call Bulls’ boss Gar Forman and lay out the following: Gibson, McDermott, Mirotic, and Jimmy Butler gets you a Kevin Love.
You want to have one of the best power forward/center combinations in history in Joakim Noah and Love? You can have it.
You want to pair the best high-usage guard in the league, and potentially the best point guard in the league period with the best offensive rebounder in the NBA? You can do just that.
Pull the trigger, Gar.
That’s the game I would play. Two immediate NBA-caliber starters and a couple of wild cards in McDermott and Mirotic would absolutely tip the scales. The Wolves would send back a couple of players (likely Kevin Martin and J.J. Barea), but that would get it done.
Let’s hold out hope that the bidding war intensifies again, but I would fully expect Wiggins to be headed to Minnesota in about three weeks.