Let’s not pretend like this is only thirty days in the making.
We’ve anticipated this move for a long time, and it’s a weird feeling to know that Kevin Love is no longer a Minnesota Timberwolf. As of midday on Saturday, the Kevin Love trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers has been completed and approved by the league office.
Cleveland, Minnesota and Philadelphia have completed NBA trade call, source tells Yahoo. Kevin Love has joined LeBron James with the Cavs.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 23, 2014
As part of the deal, Philadelphia 76ers forward Thaddeus Young will be headed to Minnesota, along with 2013 first overall draft pick Anthony Bennett. The Wolves will also send guard Alexey Shved and forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute to Philadelphia, along with a protected 2014 first-round draft pick originally belonging to Miami and traveling through Cleveland and Minnesota before landing in Philly.
Interestingly, Brian Windhorst of ESPN is reporting that the Wolves will get to keep a $6.3 million trade exception as part of the haul. We’ll update you on whether or not this is actually happening (since it’s the first we’ve heard of it) once we know for sure.
Otherwise, the details are exactly what has been reported in various corners of the internet in the week leading up to Wiggins Day. Finally, we have closure, and the nonsense is over.
It will be interesting to see what kinds of roster-balancing moves Flip Saunders may have up in sleeve that will be triggered by the official movement of Love, Mbah a Moute, and Shved. It’s been widely reported that he would like to get J.J. Barea off the roster, but has had a tough time finding a taker to this point.
We’ll have a series of follow-up pieces here at DWW regarding the actual roster construction now that the trade is final, but it’s certainly an intriguing list of talent.
Also of note: ESPN reported on Friday night that the Phoenix Suns made a last-ditch effort to swap guard Eric Bledsoe in a sign-and-trade for Love, as contract negotiations between the club and their up-and-coming star have stalled.
Bledsoe is a great piece and a solid player, to be sure, but is simply not worth the maximum-contract that he is rumored to be seeking. It was a good move (and probably a fairly easy decision) for Saunders to rebuff the advances of the Suns and consummate the transaction with the Cavs.
Wiggins, Bennett, and Young are expected to be announced at the Minnesota State Fair on Tuesday. Any additional details will be noted here at DWW.
Also, stay tuned for additional roster analysis throughout the weekend and in the coming days.