The Cleveland Cavaliers have been in trade talks with the Minnesota Timberwolves for Minnesota’s sweet shooting forward Kevin Love. Love is a 6’10”, twenty-five year old, double-double machine.
Last season Love averaged twenty-six points, twelve rebounds and four assists a game. Love has produced similar statistics every season since the 2010-2011 season.
Towards the end of the 2013-2014 season Love saw the futility competing for championships with Minnesota and began demanding a trade. Love’s demands were largely ignored in the hopes of a change of mind and a renewed effort to build a contender around his skill set.
Initially demand for Love was high, but most trade offers could not come near to the value of the superstar.
LeBron Changes Things
Fast-forward a few months and the NBA’s best player, LeBron James, changed teams to his home-state Cleveland Cavaliers. This set the ball rolling towards a Cleveland trade for Kevin Love.
When LeBron James joins your team, that team becomes an immediate title contender. Even Cleveland who has had five top five picks in four years is an immediate title contender, even though much of the team’s talent is young and inexperienced, which is exactly where Kevin Love comes in.
Infatuated with Love
Kevin Love is an immediate star contributor and now the Cavaliers are in position to contend for titles, the Cavs have renewed the push to trade for Love. Initial reports have stated the Cavs were looking to trade any asset except: LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and future star Andrew Wiggins.
Trade talks nearly died when Minnesota demanded that any trade for Love must include Andrew Wiggins. After a few well timed articles detailing conversations between Love and LeBron, Cleveland picked the phone back up and put Wiggins on the table.
But still a week has gone by with Wiggins on the table and no word on any firm trade possibilities. How much is Kevin Love worth?
How Much For Love
Cleveland has three first round draft picks in the 2015 NBA draft and a host of young talent, from Tristan Thompson, Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Anthony Bennett to Andrew Wiggins. Minnesota will likely demand at least two of the three first round picks and one of the young studs mentioned before.
ESPN’s Skip Bayless suggested on Twitter that the two teams swap stars, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. That deal has limited appeal to the Cavaliers because Kyrie just signed a five year contract showing his commitment to Cleveland; however Love’s contract is set to expire next season. Production wise the two players have similar player efficiency ratings and are similar ages.
For Cleveland to go through with the trade the organization must benefit immediately from the trade. Which is why Wiggins has been the subject of many trade rumors; Wiggins has the physical make up to become a superstar but is a work in progress at the moment.
From Minnesota’s perspective trading one disgruntled star for another potentially disgruntled star leaves very little to gain. Minnesota is likely asking Cleveland to sign Wiggins to a long term deal to secure Wiggins' trade value.
With the Chicago Bulls now throwing their hat into the ring any trade could result and maybe even a three team trade.