One of the worst-kept secrets in the NBA is that the Cleveland Cavaliers will be acquiring power forward Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a deal that will include 2014 1st overall pick Andrew Wiggins. Beyond the basic framework of the deal, the details about the other pieces have been somewhat murky for the last couple of weeks. Recent developments indicate that those details may shake out with 2013 1st overall pick Anthony Bennett landing in Philadelphia.
Though perhaps not as ironclad as the major pieces in the deal, the 76ers have come up quite a bit as far as a third team to facilitate the eventual transaction between the two major players. Philadelphia has an enviable combination of cap space, a valuable asset in Thaddeus Young, and no immediate desire to win.
Due to the rules regarding rookie contracts, the Cavaliers cannot officially move Wiggins in a deal for Love until he has been signed for one month. Until August 24th, Wiggins has to remain under control of Cleveland. After that, the team is free to do whatever they want with him. Considering the fact that his jersey is no longer being manufactured by the NBA and the newly re-acquired LeBron James has yet to speak to the top pick, it’s pretty safe to say Wiggins will not be suiting up for Cleveland in a competitive capacity. Considering the Timberwolves have already conceded the fact that Love will be traded later in the month, the only step remaining in the process is the final agreement.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst has been keeping close attention to the situation since James returned to Cleveland. Earlier Tuesday, Windhorst hopped onto ESPNradio with Ryan Ruocco. Here’s what he had to say regarding the 76ers involvement in the inevitable deal.
“Essentially, before the papers have been signed…there is a handshake agreement that Kevin Love to the Cavs, Andrew Wiggins to the TimberWolves, and I believe Thaddeus Young will end up in Minnesota either as part of a separate deal or part of a three-way deal. Possibly Anthony Bennett who’s on the Cavs right now, could get re-routed to Philadelphia in part of a deal for Thaddeus Young. There’ll be draft picks involved…”
Depending on what picks would be coming back to Philadelphia, I would prefer Bennett to Dion Waiters if it means getting a roster player from the Cavaliers. Though I still think he has a long way to go to shake the ‘bust’ label of one of the more forgettable seasons ever by a first round pick, there were a few things that impressed me in the second-year man out of UNLV in his Summer League performance. He has slimmed down quite a bit, has demonstrated the ability to score all over the floor, and seems to have things heading back on a favorable track. Considering there is still three weeks until the Cavaliers can officially complete any trade involving Andrew Wiggins, I expect the names involved from the 76ers standpoint to continue to shuffle around. Barring any sort of major shake-up, however, it seems to be a pretty safe bet that the Sixers won’t walk away empty-handed when this blockbuster eventually goes through.