10:28am: A source close to Stein says the teams will make it one three-way swap rather than two separate trades, as long as there aren’t any last-minute changes (Twitter link).
AUGUST 22ND, 8:48am: The latest dispatch from Marc Stein of ESPN.com indicates that the arrangement could turn out to be two separate deals after all, and Wojnarowski appears to suggest the same in his story. Sam Amick of USA Today casts it as one three-team swap, however, which puts him in accordance with Zgoda’s report from late Thursday. In any case, it appears clear that Love will end up in Cleveland, Wiggins, Bennett and Young will head to Minnesota, and Mbah a Moute, Shved and the Heat’s 2015 first-round pick are destined for Philadelphia.
11:08pm: The three-team deal will be finalized on Saturday, the day the 30-day restriction on trading Wiggins expires, Zgoda reports. Zgoda confirms the previously-reported specifics of the deal and adds that the Wolves will also receive a trade exception believed to be worth at least $4 million. The deal will be announced on Saturday after the completion of a call with the league office.
3:08pm: It’ll go down as a three-team deal, rather than one separate transaction involving Love and another involving Young, as Dan Barreiro of KFAN Sports Radio and Krawczynski both expect (Twitter link). Based on the most recent reports, that wound send Love to the Cavs, while the Wolves would get Young, Wiggins and Bennett, with the Sixers set to receive Mbah a Moute, Shved, and the 2015 first-round draft pick that Cleveland had acquired from the Heat.
2:40pm: The Wolves are in line to send Mbah a Moute and Shved to the Sixers, according to Zgoda (Twitter link). The Star Tribune scribe wrote a few weeks ago that the Wolves wanted to send Barea to Philadelphia, but Zgoda clarifies today that Barea isn’t part of the arrangement. Zgoda also speculated earlier this month that Shabazz Muhammad could be a part of the deal, but it’s “highly unlikely” that Muhammad will be involved, Wolfson tweets.
12:09pm: Three sources tell Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun that Young will go to the Wolves but Bennett won’t be heading to the Sixers, advancing the earlier reports (Twitter links).
12:00pm: The belief around the league is that Young will wind up with Minnesota, according to Wolfson (Twitter link).
AUGUST 21ST, 8:46am: Sixers GM Sam Hinkie wants to acquire the first-rounder that the Cavs are shipping out in the deal, Zgoda tweets. Zgoda wrote a few weeks ago that the Wolves hoped to send that pick, likely the Heat’s 2015 first-round selection as we noted below, to Philly as part of a package for Young, so it seems a fair bet that the pick winds up with the Sixers.
AUGUST 20TH: Zgoda casts doubt on the notion that Bennett will end up with the Sixers as part of the deal (Twitter link). That would suggest that Bennett isn’t heading to Philadelphia any time soon as part of a separate transaction, as I explained.
AUGUST 8TH: 2:22pm: Young says the Sixers haven’t given him or agent Jim Tanner any notification that he’ll be traded, as Lynam writes in her full piece.
10:54am: Young tells Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com that, “I have not been traded,” though that could be a matter of semantics, as no trade is yet official (Twitter link).
9:16am: Fellow Daily News scribe Bob Cooney seconds the news that Young is headed to Minnesota and Bennett will go to Philadelphia, but he suggests the move will take place as a separate transaction (Twitter link). Still, it would make more sense if it were part of the Love trade, since the salaries in a standalone Young-Bennett swap wouldn’t meet the NBA’s salary-matching requirements.
FRIDAY, 8:08am: The Sixers will indeed be a part of the deal, as they’ll acquire Bennett from the Cavs and send Young to the Wolves, a source tells Mark Perner of the Philadelphia Daily News. Bennett will give Philadelphia three of the top 11 picks from the 2013 draft, joining Nerlens Noel and reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams. Young figures to slide in as Love’s replacement at power forward in Minnesota, though he has the chance to opt out and hit free agency in 2015, just like Love.
THURSDAY, 2:58pm: John Lucas III, whom the Cavs acquired from the Jazz last month, isn’t a part of the Love trade as it stands, but there’s a decent chance Cleveland will send him out in the deal with the Wolves, tweets USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt.
12:51pm: The potential that a third team becomes involved still exists, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press (Twitter link). Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune suggested earlier today that the possibility remained in play. The Wolves continue to work with the Sixers, Krawczynski also tweets, and Zgoda outlined what Minnesota would want to accomplish in a arrangement that would net them Thaddeus Young, as we passed along.
12:35pm: The protected 2015 first-rounder going to Minnesota will likely be the Heat’s pick, Wojnarowski tweets. Miami owes that selection to the Cavs from the LeBron James sign-and-trade in 2010, according to RealGM.
11:56am: There’s no agreement regarding a new max deal for Love, reports Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. Berger hears from two sources who suggest that Love will wait to see what James does with his ability to hit free agency next summer.
8:26am: The Wolves and Cavs have reached an agreement in principle on a deal that will send Kevin Love to the Cavs for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a protected 2015 first-round pick, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Cleveland is doing the deal with a firm commitment from Love that he will opt out of his contract next summer and re-sign with the team for the max, Wojnarowski adds. Surprisingly, there’s no third team involved, in spite of a string of rumors indicating that the Wolves were high on acquiring Thaddeus Young from the Sixers. The swap can’t become official until August 23rd, the first day following the 30-day period in which the Cavs are barred from trading Wiggins after signing him to his rookie scale contract.
The teams had agreed to the precise terms weeks ago, but the Cavs and Wolves are staying silent until they can formalize the trade, sources tell Wojnarowski. The Cavs feared the Bulls would instead trade for Love and block the path to the Eastern Conference title, and that helped prompt Cleveland to close on the deal, Wojnarowski hears. That’s in spite of Chicago’s last formal offer having come before the draft in June, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). That conflicts with a report from late July that indicated that the Bulls had offered Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott. Chicago stayed in contact with the Wolves, but the Bulls understood that when the Cavs made Wiggins available, it would have required them to make too strong an offer to compete, Johnson adds (on Twitter).
Cavs officials were also cognizant that it would be difficult for them to clear the cap space necessary to sign Love as a free agent next summer without his Bird rights, according to Wojnarowski. The trade will allow Cleveland to have those Bird rights, which will let the team exceed the cap to re-sign him.
The Wolves had sought to unload some of their player-friendly contracts in a Love trade, and they still hold out hope of parting with J.J. Barea, Luc Mbah a Moute and Alexey Shved in subsequent moves, according to Wojnarowski. Minnesota is also still trying to acquire Young from the Sixers, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities, but it’s unclear if the efforts are related at this point.
The agreement ends more than two months of intense Love-related rumors after Love made it clear to the Wolves that he would hit free agency next summer and Minnesota began to seriously consider trades. The Bulls and Warriors appeared at the top of Love’s list of preferred destinations at that point. Golden State remained a prime contender for weeks, but their decision against including Klay Thompson in a deal appears to have scuttled any chance Love would end up in the Bay Area. Love made a high-profile visit to Boston around the first of June, but Minnesota wasn’t interested in any assets the Celtics had to offer.
Love reportedly made Cleveland his top choice following the return of LeBron James to the Cavs, and even before the four-time MVP left Miami, Love indicated that he would be 100% on board with joining the Cavs if James were also on the team. James reportedly reached out to Love to tell him he’d like for them to play together in Cleveland and appeared to signal to Cavs management that he wanted them to trade for the All-Star power forward. James conspicuously left Wiggins’ name out of the essay he co-authored with Lee Jenkins of SI.com when he announced his decision to return to Cleveland.
The addition of Love, a 25-year-old three-time All-Star, puts the Cavs squarely in the title race this season. Just as the trade can’t be finalized until August 23rd, Love’s commitment to sign a five-year max contract with the team next summer can’t be official until next July, so much of the arrangement relies on everyone involved keeping their word. James can opt out of his deal with the Cavs and hit free agency next summer, too, so there are few concrete certainties. Still, it appears the Cavs are well-positioned for the future even as they relinquish consecutive No. 1 overall draft selections in Wiggins and Bennett. Wiggins, in particular, makes parting with Love easier to swallow for Minnesota, and his vast potential means there’s a decent chance the Wolves will ultimately emerge with a better return for having traded a superstar than any other team to have done so.
The Nuggets, Suns, Lakers, Rockets, Kings, Knicks, and Wizards were among the other teams connected to Love throughout the process, but the Cavs had emerged as clear front-runners in recent weeks. Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com suggested in a radio appearance a few days ago that Cleveland and Minnesota had a handshake agreement in place. The vast majority of Hoops Rumors readers who voted in our poll even before Windhorst’s comments believed Love would be with the Cavaliers by the start of the season.
Photo courtesy USA Today Sports Images.