At some point on Saturday, possibly the time you read this, Kevin Love will be a Cleveland Cavalier.
The long anticipated trade between the Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves can finally become official on Saturday. As of midnight, 30 days will have passed since Andrew Wiggins signed his rookie contract, making the No. 1 overall selection in the 2014 draft eligible for a trade.
We've known this for some time. We even had an indication that a third team, Philadelphia 76ers, might get involved. Indeed they are with veteran forward Thaddeus Young going to Minnesota. According to reports, here's the breakdown on which team will receive:
Cavaliers: Kevin Love
Timberwolves: Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Thaddeus Young
76ers: Luc Mbah a Moute, Alexey Shved, 2015 first round pick (Miami via Cleveland)
The Cavs are giving up the first picks in both the 2013 and 2014 drafts, and yet could easily come out as the winners if Love, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving become a title-winning trio.
This seems like a much better scenario for the Timberwolves than the rumor floated earlier this month where Bennett went to Philadelphia. Shved is a fun player and Mbah a Moute is a hard worker, but only the 2015 first round pick might come back to haunt Minnesota. Now coach and general manager Flip Saunders can build around Wiggins, hope Bennett rebounds after a brutal rookie season and, in theory, still take a shot at the postseason with Young taking over Love at power forward.
As for the 76ers, their were headed for another losing and lottery-bound season with our without Young, who averaged 17.9 points and 6.0 rebounds last season. Only Shved's deal extends beyond this season at just under $4 million. Add Miami's first round pick to their own plus the young core of Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams.
A win-win trade is rare. A win-win-win trade, that's unicorn levels of scarce. Factoring in that Cleveland is going for the ring, that Minnesota had little leverage with Love and that Philadelphia wants to be bad next season, that might be what we have here.