Andrew Wiggins Rumors

Central Notes: Rose, Van Gundy, Waiters

July 29 at 7:05pm CDT By Ryan Raroque

As Derrick Rose inches closer toward his return to NBA action in 2014/15 following a season-ending injury last season, Kevin Pelton of ESPN explains why the Bulls superstar is better preparing himself by starting his adjustment period against some of the league’s best point guards in Team USA camp rather than waiting until Bulls training camp in the fall to begin playing at a high level (Insiders only). With that aside, here’s more of what we’ve gathered out of the Central Division this evening:

  • Rose outlined what his pitch to Carmelo Anthony had been as he spoke with reporters, including Kurt Helin of NBCSports.com. Rose’s message was simple, but it was seemingly more than just the brief hello that one report had indicated was the extent of the contact between the two stars.
  • Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy acknowledged that the team had to be more aggressive in its pitches to free agents this summer because of its lack of success on the court of late, as Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press notes.
  • Dion Waiters and Andrew Wiggins have both been in plenty of trade chatter, but if they both remain with the Cavs, only one of them seems likely to start. Waiters isn’t demanding that he be the starter, but he’s resolute in his belief that he’s the man for the job, as he tells Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
  • Doug McDermott is aware that his name is being attached in trade talks regarding Kevin Love; however, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes that the Bulls rookie hasn’t asked the front office to keep him updated on those rumors as he waits to see what happens.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post. 

Wolves Targeting Thaddeus Young

July 28 at 3:08pm CDT By Chuck Myron

3:08pm: The Sixers want at least a first-round pick in return for Young, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. That echoes Philadelphia’s stance regarding Young at the trade deadline this past February.

2:29pm: The Wolves are interested in acquiring Thaddeus Young as part of a Kevin Love trade, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Minnesota has been working on ways to deal for Young, either as part of a Love deal or through a separate transaction, Stein writes, though those efforts have been going on for quite some time, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press.

The Sixers have reportedly held interest in trying to fold Young into a deal that would send Love to another team and allow Philadelphia to recoup other assets. Sixers GM Sam Hinkie nonetheless said after the draft that he expected Young would be back with the team, as Stein notes, though the general belief is that the Sixers are open to trading their 26-year-old combo forward, according to the ESPN scribe. Young is set to make more than $9.4MM this coming season and has an early termination option he can exercise to hit free agency next summer.

The ideal scenario for the Wolves involves a three-team arrangement involving Cleveland in which Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and Young end up in Minnesota, Love goes to the Cavs, and expiring contracts and draft picks head to Philadelphia, according to Krawczynski. Still, that idea is just one of many in play, Krawczynski cautions (Twitter links). The Cavs can’t deal Wiggins until August 23rd, since league rules stipulate that a draft pick can’t be traded for 30 days after he signs, as Wiggins did this past Thursday.

Poll: Should Cavs Deal Wiggins For Love?

July 27 at 10:51am CDT By Eddie Scarito

Heading into this offseason, the chances of Kevin Love heading to the Cavaliers were slim. But that was before LeBron James decided to return his talents to Cleveland. When LeBron announced his decision to sign with the Cavs, he preached patience, and in a move to lower expectations, implied that the team wouldn’t expect to contend for a championship this coming season.

But acquiring a player of Love’s caliber could certainly accelerate that timetable, which is one reason that Cleveland has seemingly been burning up the phone lines trying to work out a deal to acquire the stat-sheet-filling power forward. The feeling is apparently shared by Love, who, as recently reported, may have formally requested a trade to Cleveland via his agent.

Numerous other teams have been attempting to work out a deal, including the Warriors, Celtics, Lakers, Bulls and Knicks. Golden State still appears to be Cleveland’s main competitors for Love, but the Warriors have expressed an unwillingness to include Klay Thompson as part of the deal, which has stalled talks between the two franchises.

The potential blockbuster deal between the Wolves and the Cavs is being complicated by the insistence of Minnesota coach and president of basketball operation Flip Saunders that Cleveland include No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins as part of any package for Love. Wiggins recently signed with the Cavs, so they will have to wait 30 days before they can officially deal him away. But that is only a minor issue if both franchises are serious about making a trade.

Should the Cavs relent and include Wiggins if it nets them Love? Wiggins has a wealth of potential and could turn out to be a superstar, and the type of player you can build a champion around, but he has yet to play a minute of regular season action. Whereas Love has career averages of 19.2 PPG, 12.2 RPG, and 2.5 APG. He’s also only 25 years old and just entering his prime. The knock on Love of course is that in six seasons he has yet to lead his team to the playoffs, and that he is a subpar defender.

As for Wiggins, his value is more theoretical at this point. There have been numerous players, including first overall draft picks, who enter the league being touted as franchise changing talents, only to disappoint and underperform. The ceiling on the rookie appears to be incredibly high, but is holding onto him and gambling he’ll turn out to be a better player than Love worth the risk?

The other aspect to factor in is the leverage that Cleveland may have gained in the trade talks if Love indeed told the Timberwolves that he would opt out after the 2014/15 season and would not re-sign with the team. And if Love also specifically requested a trade to Cleveland, that could complicate matters further.

Cleveland could also decide to hold off on depleting its young assets and simply play out this season with its current roster, then try to clear enough cap room to sign Love next summer outright. This might allow them to keep Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and whichever other pieces, including draft picks, that they would have had to ship to Minnesota to get this deal done, but it would still be a challenge. The Cavs already have more than $48MM in commitments for 2015/16, assuming James opts in and the team picks up its option on Dion Waiters.

So now it’s time for you to step into Cavs GM David Griffin‘s shoes and make the call. Do you relent and include Wiggins if it will bring Love’s talents to Cleveland? Or do you draw a line in the sand and refuse to offer Wiggins, even if it potentially costs you a LeBron-Love pairing?

Pluto’s Latest: Love, Cavs, Wolves

July 26 at 12:32pm CDT By Cray Allred

Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer hears that, unless something changes, the Wolves will not relent on their demand for Andrew Wiggins as part of any trade package with the Cavs for Kevin Love. It will be interesting to see if the rumored trade request from Love would be the kind of change needed to soften that stance. Pluto’s full piece is worth the read, but we’ll run down some of the highlights here:

  • Minnesota and Cleveland haven’t had serious discussions about a Love trade for a week, writes Pluto. We heard recently that the trade market for Love was quiet in general, although speculation has continued to proliferate.
  • Pluto also hears that the expectation for any would-be Love trade to Cleveland would be that the forward would still decline his player option next season, giving him the ability to re-sign to a longer, more lucrative deal.
  • Minnesota is considering the unlikely possibility of keeping Love through the season and then working out a sign-and-trade with another team next summer, per The Plain Dealer scribe.

Eastern Rumors: Harrington, Wiggins, Love

July 24 at 6:33pm CDT By Cray Allred

The Wizards would like to have Al Harrington back, and the matter of whether he plays for the team next year is essentially up to him, according to J. Michael of CSNWashington.com. The 34-year-old has decided to play in the NBA next season after contemplating retirement. More from the Eastern Conference:

  • Andrew Wiggins‘ name has come up in trade talks with the Wolves, but the Cavs haven’t offered him as part of any proposal for a Kevin Love trade, tweets Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio. That nuanced accounting of the discussions might illuminate some of the conflicting reports about Cleveland’s true willingness to part with the No. 1 pick.
  • Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer thinks the Cavs shouldn’t trade for Love unless they receive full assurance that he will commit for at least two years to the team, considering how difficult it would be to transition from a young, sub-.500 club to a championship contender in just one season. Love is reportedly agreeable to remaining with Cleveland alongside LeBron James, but hasn’t indicated a willingness to opt in for next season’s player option in order to delay his free agency for another year.
  • The Celtics haven’t completely given up hope of landing Love, but they’re prepared to move on, a source tells A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. That’s why Boston is among the teams trying to function as the third team in a swap that sends Love elsewhere.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Cavs Sign Andrew Wiggins

July 24 at 3:01pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Cavaliers have signed No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, the team announced. The move triggers a 30-day period in which Cleveland can’t officially complete a trade involving him. The Timberwolves have demanded Wiggins be a part of any package involving Kevin Love, and while there are conflicting reports, many of them indicate Cleveland is willing to include him.

It’s a virtual certainty that Wiggins will receive a salary of slightly more than $5.5MM this season, as our table of salaries for 2014 first-round picks shows. That amount would help salaries match in a trade should the Cavs decide to pull one off after the 30 days are up. Still, the Cavs could have traded his rights immediately had they held off on signing him, using other players to help balance the salaries.

The 6’8″ swingman entered his freshman season at Kansas last year as far and away the top prospect for the 2014 NBA draft, but an underwhelming performance allowed others, including teammate Joel Embiid, to contend for the top spot. Embiid seemed the odds-on favorite until he broke his foot, and Wiggins prevailed over Jabari Parker of Duke, to whom the Cavs also reportedly gave strong consideration.

Wiggins averaged 17.1 points and 5.9 rebounds along with 34.1% three-point shooting in 32.8 minutes per game for Kansas this past season, earning consensus All-American honors. The 19-year-old chose agent Bill Duffy of BDA Sports as his representative.

Cavs, Andrew Wiggins Near Deal

July 23 at 2:59pm CDT By Zach Links

WEDNESDAY, 2:59pm: The Cavs expect that they’ll receive a signed contract from Wiggins on Thursday, tweets Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal.

SUNDAY, 6:25pm: The Cavs are planning to sign No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins to a contract in the coming week, a source close to the process tells Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com.  Wiggins, of course, has been linked to the Kevin Love talks, but the hold up in the deal reportedly wasn’t related to those discussions.

The Cavs, sources say, are merely exploring options for using their estimated $1.4MM in remaining cap space before signing Wiggins to a contract that will pay him in the neighborhood of $5.5MM as a rookie.  The Cavs and Timberwolves have been discussing a Love trade since the return of LeBron James, with sources saying that Minnesota is insistent on getting Wiggins back in any deal that sends Love to Cleveland.  Once Wiggins signs, though, league rules stipulate that the Cavs must wait 30 days before trading him.

One option under consideration for the Cavs, sources say, is using their leftover salary-cap space to create long-term contracts for recent second-round picks Joe Harris and Dwight Powell.  Signing Wiggins first would preclude such moves.

Once the Cavs exhaust their cap space and sign Wiggins, they are expected to officially sign free agent Mike Miller to a two-year, $5.6MM deal.  The Cavs also remain interested in free agent Ray Allen, but they’ll only be able to offer him a $1.4MM veteran’s minimum contract.

Bulls Offer Gibson, Mirotic, McDermott For Love

July 23 at 12:45pm CDT By Chuck Myron

12:45pm: The Wolves contacted the Bulls within the last 24 hours to tell them that Cleveland’s proposal was their favorite but that it wasn’t enough to convince them to trade Love just yet, a source tells Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. The Bulls responded with their offer, Cowley adds, having heard that Chicago put Gibson, McDermott and a few other assets on the table for the Wolves. Cowley’s source couldn’t confirm whether Mirotic was part of the offer, but regardless, the Wolves are giving the proposal strong consideration, the Sun-Times scribe writes. The Bulls are confident, after reaching out to Love through backchannels, that he will commit to staying in Chicago for the long term, Cowley adds.

11:32am: The Bulls are offering a package of Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott for Kevin Love, as a source confirms to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (on Twitter). Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com was the first to report the offer. Sheridan hears the Wolves like Chicago’s package best among those on the table, but Wolfson contends that Minnesota would prefer a deal that nets them Andrew Wiggins from the Cavs (Twitter link).

Still, there’s confusion around the league about why the Wolves haven’t agreed to a deal with the Cavs if Wiggins is truly available, Grantland’s Zach Lowe tweets. Some close to the situation said prior to the report of Chicago’s offer that Love would likely wind up with the Bulls, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick (on Twitter).

The general belief has been that the Wolves would seek Gibson, Jimmy Butler and other assets from the Bulls, as Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reported Tuesday, and Wolfson noted at the time that the Wolves are high on McDermott, too. Neither McDermott nor Mirotic can officially be traded until the middle of next month, since both signed their rookie contracts in the past few days. That’s true of Mirotic even though he didn’t sign a rookie scale contract. The same complication will exist regarding Wiggins once Cleveland signs him, as expected.

Amick heard yesterday from the Cleveland camp that the Wolves still weren’t showing urgency to complete a deal for Love (Twitter link). In the same vein, the Bulls have continually told Gibson not to worry about trade rumors, as Gibson told reporters today, including K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). Mirotic, while in the midst of finalizing a buyout from Real Madrid of Spain before he signed with Chicago, reportedly sought assurances from the Bulls that they wouldn’t trade him, but it’s unclear if Chicago made any such promise. The Warriors and Nuggets also reportedly remain in the mix for the All-Star power forward as the Wolves seek the involvement of a third team and clubs line up to help make any Love swap a multiteam transaction.

Possible Third Teams Emerging For Love Trade

July 23 at 10:08am CDT By Chuck Myron

The Sixers, Nuggets and Celtics are among the clubs trying to get involved as a third team in a Kevin Love swap, reports Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. A deal involving Love is unlikely to involve just two teams, a source tells Deveney. The Nuggets and Celtics are still attempting to acquire Love themselves, but they have interest in acting merely as facilitators, too, with Boston looking to part with draft picks in return for a player who can help the team this coming season.

The Sixers would like to fold Thaddeus Young into the deal, Deveney adds, advancing reports from overnight. Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune suggested that it wouldn’t be surprising if Young ends up in Minnesota, while there are whispers that the Sixers have strong interest in Cavs guard Dion Waiters, according to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio.

The Cavs became willing at some point this past weekend to include Andrew Wiggins in a deal for Love, and the Wolves like the packages they’re discussing with Cleveland better than what other teams have on the table, as Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press explains. Still, the 30-day waiting period that would take place once Wiggins signs his contract with Cleveland has the teams on edge, and with the Wolves also looking at bringing a third club into the mix, the balancing act could cause a deal to unravel, Krawczynski adds (All four Twitter links).

Minnesota is also high on what Golden State can put together for Love, providing that the Warriors relent and allow Klay Thompson into such a deal, and the Nuggets’ bid for Love would be next on the Wolves’ list. The Bulls also appear to be making another run at the All-Star power forward, while the Celtics seemingly remain on the fringes.

Bulls, Cavs Angling For Love, Nuggets In Mix

July 22 at 4:57pm CDT By Chuck Myron

4:57pm: A source who spoke to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times disputes that the Bulls are once more pushing to trade for Love.

4:08pm: The general belief is that the Wolves asked for Joakim Noah when they held preliminary talks about Love with the Bulls prior to the draft last month, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. Presumably, Chicago rebuffed Minnesota on that point.

3:40pm: Dieng’s name hasn’t come up in talks with Cleveland, and neither has Martin’s, reports Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press. Krawczynski cautions that Martin’s name was indeed a part of talks with the Warriors earlier in the offseason (Twitter links).

2:44pm: Gorgui Dieng‘s name has also come up in talks between the Cavs and Wolves, sources tell Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio (Twitter link).

2:11pm: Cleveland’s search for non-guaranteed contracts are in fact in an effort to sweeten their offer for Love, Wojnarowski writes in a full story, as they would provide cap relief for Minnesota once waived. The Cavs are also dangling future first-round picks in search of an experienced center, sources tell Wojnarowski, though it’s unclear if that, too, is related to Love. Wojnarowski is among the reporters contending that the Cavs are willing to put Wiggins in the deal, a point of frequent debate.

The Nuggets also remain in play for Love, according to Wojnarowski, and their package is Minnesota’s favorite outside of Cleveland’s and Golden State’s, if the Warriors were to relent and offer Klay Thompson. Denver reportedly offered multiple packages in June, but it’s unclear what the Nuggets have on the table now. The Wolves are insisting that teams take on J.J. Barea as part of any Love trade, and possibly Kevin Martin, too, Wojnarowski adds.

1:15pm: The Wolves also like Bulls rookie Doug McDermott, but their priority remains acquiring Wiggins if possible, Wolfson tweets.

12:57pm: The Bulls are indeed making another push to get involved in the Love sweepstakes, report Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. The general belief is that the Wolves would seek Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler and other assets from Chicago, according to Stein and Windhorst. The Bulls and Warriors were seemingly Love’s top two destinations when he made a push to be traded in May, but Chicago put any pursuit of him on the backburner while it chased Carmelo Anthony.

Still, the Cavs remain in the lead for Love and are increasingly optimistic that they can find a package that will work for the Wolves, Stein and Windhorst write. Their offer would center around Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a first-round pick, Stein and Windhorst hear, echoing a report last week from fellow ESPN scribe Chris Broussard and perhaps signaling a renewed willingness from Cleveland to part with Wiggins.

11:09am: The notion of including Andrew Wiggins in a trade for Kevin Love appears to be a matter the Cavs have tabled for now, but Cleveland remains in daily contact with the Wolves, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. The Wolves are ready to pull off a deal, but the Cavs are reticent to trade future first-round picks, as Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times hears (Twitter link). Minnesota is interested in the protected 2015 first-round picks the Cavs have coming from the Heat and Grizzlies, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com (Twitter links).

The Bulls could find themselves in position to acquire Love, especially given the presence of Nikola Mirotic on the roster, if the Cavs won’t give up the picks the Wolves want, sources also tell Woelfel (Twitter link). As Mirotic was finalizing his buyout from Real Madrid of Spain, he reportedly wanted the Bulls to assure him that he wouldn’t be traded, though it’s unclear if Chicago ever addressed that issue.

The Cavs are on the prowl for non-guaranteed contracts that they can flip and use as trade ballast in subsequent deals, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (on Twitter). Cleveland remains under the cap, so it isn’t subject to a two-month waiting period that would prevent it from immediately aggregating salary it received via trade in another swap. It appears as though the Cavs are going after these contracts at least in part to help build their portfolio for a Love trade, though that’s just my speculation.