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 (Twitterlinks). 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.
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?
Had Steve Mills not taken a front office job with the Knicks, he’d still be a leading candidate to take over the head of the NBA Player’s Association, writes Keith Schlosser of the Knicks Blog. The strong working relationship Mills has built with Phil Jackson seemingly makes it unlikely he’d consider bowing out from his job in New York to pursue an opportunity with the NBAPA, says Schlosser. Here’s a roundup from around the league:
Several teams have expressed interest in unrestricted free agent Michael Beasley, reports Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter). Front offices are intrigued by the efficiency and maturity that the former second-overall pick put on display with the Heat last season, hears Kennedy.
One potential fit for Beasley might be the Lakers, opines Kennedy, who notes that the forward is currently working out with Kevin Durant in Los Angeles (Twitter link).
Two rule changes are being discussed that would further push the D-League toward a future where one-to-one affiliate relationships exist for every NBA team, sources tell Gino Pilato of DLeagueDigest.com. One of the potential changes would expand the amount of players cut from training camp a team could protect with assignment rights, and the other would eliminate the ability for D-League clubs to add players by tryout, tipping the scales further toward one-to-one roster building that more closely resembles a minor league system.
Pilato adds that the outcome of the Thunder‘s handling of Josh Huestis is a significant factor in whether the D-League, currently without a president, will be further pressed into a one-to-one structure.
Kevin Love and the Wolves were likely on the same page regarding his decision to sit out this summer’s Team USA activity, tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com. Mannix gets the sense that both sides were in favor of a cautious approach so that an injury won’t throw a wrench in the trade market for Love. Here’s more from out West:
The Wolves’ chance to convince Love to remain in Minnesota beyond this season has passed, writes Charley Walters of St. Paul Pioneer Press. Walters says the power forward will not be persuaded at this point, and that his preference is to play with LeBron James in Cleveland, which aligns with the rumored trade request we passed along this morning.
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.
Multiple league sources tell Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio that Kevin Love has likely requested a trade to the Cavaliers. The sources are uncertain if a formal trade request has been made, but are “under the impression” that he has made his feelings known to the Wolves through his agent.
Such a request would certainly alter the trade landscape for the All-Star, whose fate for this season and beyond has been a constant in the rumor mill since informing Minnesota that he would not opt in to his player option and pursue free agency next summer. Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press tweets that the elite scorer and rebounder has withdrawn from playing with Team USA this summer due to uncertainty about his situation.
A formal request of this nature would seemingly give the Cavs more leverage in their talks with the Wolves. The main sticking point in talks has been whether or not Cleveland is willing to give up No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins as part of a deal. The Warriors were the early favorites to land Love, and the Bulls have regained momentum in recent days, while the Celtics have all but thrown in the towel. Since LeBron James announced his return to Cleveland, the team went from a longshot to acquire the power forward to a strong possibility, as Love was only open to re-signing with the Cavs once James was in the picture.
Carmelo Anthony spent his free agency largely debating between signing with either the Knicks or the Bulls, though the Lakers were briefly his top choice, as he told Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com. New York gave him much more lucrative contract than the Bulls could have, but the star forward insisted money wasn’t his primary motivation and said he believes the Knicks are closer to contention than widely assumed, as Goodman writes. Anthony also hinted that he wants to remain with the Knicks for the rest of his career. Here’s more from around the league:
Kyrie Irving‘s extension with the Cavs will only provide for a starting salary equal to approximately 27.5% of the cap, rather than the maximum 30%, if he triggers the Derrick Rose Rule this coming season, reports Mark Deeks of ShamSports (Twitter link). It’s similar to the concessionPaul George made when he, too, signed an otherwise maximum-salary extension with the Pacers last year.
Rockets GM Daryl Morey called the protected 2015 first-round pick he acquired from the Pelicans in the Omer Asik deal “the best draft pick in the league for someone to trade for,” as the GM said to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. It’s protected for the top three and the bottom 11 picks each year through 2018 and the top three and the bottom six picks in 2019 and 2020, as RealGM details.
The Mavs were among the NBA teams that invited undrafted Syracuse combo forward C.J. Fair to training camp, but none of them offered any guaranteed money, which is apparently behind Fair’s decision to change agents, writes Mike Waters of The Post-Standard. Fair dropped Torrel Harris in favor of Joel Bell for his representation, as Guido Guida of La Gazzetta Dello Sport was first to report (Twitter link).
The Knicks invited summer league power forward Cameron Moore to training camp, but he agreed to terms earlier this month with Venezia of Italy, reports David Pick of Eurobasket.com (on Twitter).
Will Cherry‘s strong summer league showing for the Cavs this month has Cleveland strongly considering a more substantial arrangement with the free agent guard, and the Raptors also have serious interest in him, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). It appears as though the teams are envisioning him as a training camp invitee, though it’s conceivable he could wind up with at least a partial guarantee, given the competition for his services.
The 6’1″ 23-year-old averaged 12.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in 25.3 minutes per game in five appearances for the summer Cavs in Las Vegas. Cleveland is also familiar with Cherry from his work for its D-League affiliate last season, when he notched 11.6 PPG and 3.7 RPG in 30.4 MPG. He also dished out 4.5 assists per contests in his time with the Cavs affiliate.
Cherry went undrafted out of Montana in 2013, and he wasn’t in an NBA camp last fall. The Raptors have 13 guaranteed contracts and the Cavs have only 12, but Cleveland’s roster is in flux as a potential Kevin Love trade looms, leaving it uncertain whether Cherry would have a better shot in Cleveland or Toronto.
The market for Kevin Love is likely less active than reports have been indicating, observes Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, who suggests that Flip Saunders probablyisn’t deciding between a multitude of remarkable offers, but is instead patiently waiting, hoping for an exciting proposal to come in soon. Here’s tonight’s look around the NBA..
One league source told Amico that the flux of rumors based around a potential Love/Wiggins swap is “textbook Flip,” implying that Saunders is leaking information that he thinks could benefit the Wolves’ return on a Love deal. Amico wouldn’t confirm or deny the source’s speculation, however.
Joe Harris‘ deal with the Cavs and Devyn Marble‘s with the Magic are structured almost exactly the same way, reveals Mark Deeks of ShamSports (on Twitter). Each rookie will make $884,879 in the first season, $845,059 in the following campaign, and $980,431 during the third and final year of the deal. However, unlike Harris’ agreement, Marble’s contract becomes non-guaranteed past the first season, according to Deeks.
Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders looks at the options on the table for restricted free agent Greg Monroe. Greene thinks that like all of the game’s best big men, Monroe will get a hefty pay day eventually; it’s just a question of when it’ll be. Should Monroe decide to sign his qualifying offer this summer, he’ll be forfeiting potential earnings for the upcoming season but opening up the door to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason.
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 conflictingreports 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.