The future is finally now for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The team completed the much-anticipated deal for Kevin Love on Saturday afternoon. Love averaged 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds a game last season for Minnesota. At 25, the three-time All-Star gives Cleveland a presence in the paint that presumably will make opposing teams pay for paying too close attention to LeBron James.
In exchange for the power forward, the Cavaliers gave the Minnesota Timberwolves 2014 #1 pick Andrew Wiggins and 2013 #1 pick Anthony Bennett. The Cavs dealt a 2015 first-round pick acquired from Miami to Philadelphia. The 76ers sent Thaddeus Young to the Timberwolves. Minnesota traded Alexy Shved and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute to Philadelphia.
The reluctance to part with the potential and talent of Kansas standout swingman Andrew Wiggins, and the NBA rule mandating a block on trades of drafted players until a month after their contracts have been finalized, delayed actualizing the trade.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) August 23, 2014
A team in perpetual rebuilding mode since the departure of LeBron James four years ago now plays for the present. A frontcourt featuring LeBron James and Kevin Love, and a backcourt featuring one of the game’s most dynamic point guards in Kyrie Irving, gives the Cavaliers a “big three” to rival any trio in the NBA. If the signing of James left any doubt that the Cavaliers play as the team to beat in the East, the acquisition of Love erases it.
“Kevin joining the Cavaliers represents a very special and unique opportunity for our team,” Cleveland General Manager David Griffin announced in a release. “At only 25, Kevin has already firmly established himself as one the NBA’s elite players and his talent, versatility and fit are major parts of our team’s vision for success. We want to also wish Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett the best as they will continue the start of their careers in Minnesota. They are both outstanding young men that have great potential on the court and long, very successful careers ahead of them.”