On August seventh, sports journalist all over the internet reported the Cleveland Cavaliers had agreed to terms with the Minnesota Timberwolves to send star forward Kevin Love to Cleveland. The trade will shift the landscape in the entire NBA, but what motivated each franchise to trade vital parts of their teams?
For Minnesota, star forward Kevin Love demanded to be trade early in 2014, some report Love’s demand came even earlier in late 2013. If the Timberwolves were stubborn and forced Love to play the last year of his contract in Minnesota, the team would likely lose Love and gain nothing.
To maximize the worth of their star player, the Timberwolves began looking for trade partners. A few months later, the Timberwolves were offered one of the most impressive athletes to come into the NBA, Andrew Wiggins, a former first overall draft pick who will flourish in Minnesota, Anthony Bennett and a first round draft pick next year.
With Love the Timberwolves were stuck in a room with a first round ceiling. After the trade, the future is bright in Minnesota. The Timberwolves already had a fantastic up and coming point guard Ricky Rubio, a very good center in Nikola Pekovic and a serviceable forward in Corey Brewer.
Add those players to athletic phenom Wiggins and hyper-talented Bennett; the Timberwolves will be contenders before too long.
On the other hand, the Cavaliers will become title contenders with the Love trade. Prior to the trade, the Cavaliers’ roster appeared similar to what the Timberwolves roster will become. The Cleveland franchise chose to fight for immediate contention; after four years of being one of the worst teams in the NBA who can blame them?
Some say the best and most honorable way to win a championship is to build through the draft and create a team to win championships.
Food for thought: Minnesota tried that approach and now they are shipping their best player to another team because they could not keep him in free agency. The truth about how to become a champion is; get it when you can.
The Cavs have a unique opportunity to chase a title for at least two seasons (when LeBron’s contract expires).
If a franchise is trying to make its mark on the NBA the best method is to win championships, something no professional sports team in Cleveland has been able to do since 1948.