MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) – It appears the Kevin Love era with the Minnesota Timberwolves has come to an end.
According to a Yahoo Sports report from NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski, Love will be traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andrew Wiggins, this year’s No. 1 overall draft pick, and other assets. Reports are that they include Anthony Bennett, last year’s No. 1 pick, and a first-round draft pick in 2015. It marks the end of a six-year career for Love in Minnesota, who was a first-round draft choice in 2008.
NBA rules state that the trade can’t be officially announced until Aug. 23, which is 30 days after Wiggins signed his rookie contract with Cleveland.
Love is coming off one of his best seasons as he averaged 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. He was a double-double machine for the Timberwolves, but made it clear after the last season that he was no longer interested in staying in Minnesota. It was a move that had to be made with Love in the final year of his contract and the threat of him leaving in free agency with the Timberwolves getting nothing in return.
Love now joins LeBron James, the best player in the game, and Kyrie Irving, to make the Cavaliers one of the favorites to win the NBA title next season. In six seasons, Love never led Minnesota to the NBA Playoffs.
In return, the Cavaliers send over a potential budding star in Wiggins, who spent one year at Kansas before entering the NBA Draft. The Cavaliers had recently refused to involve Wiggins in any trade possibilities, but the chance to land one of the best power forwards in the game was too good to pass up.
Minnesota had also been in talks with the Golden State Warriors to deal Love, but that ultimately died with the team’s refusal to swap guard Klay Thompson and other assets.
Wiggins has been working out at a non-Cavaliers location and his representatives have already begun researching possible endorsement opportunities for him in Minnesota, according to a person with knowledge of those pursuits. That person spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity because the deals have not been completed.
The Wolves and Cavs have been in agreement on Love and Wiggins being the primary pieces of a trade for some time, the people with knowledge of the deal said. One told AP the Cavaliers have not had any discussions on a contract value or length for Love.
Love withdrew from his planned participation with Team USA at the FIBA World Cup of Basketball to avoid an injury that could derail the deal.
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)