By: Randy Cruz (@cruzr83)
After having the proposed deal on hold for a few weeks, it has finally become official -- and a new big 3 has been formed in Cleveland.
Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves has been traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a three-team deal that includes the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Timberwolves, who have had many trade proposals sent their way for Kevin Love over the past few months, including a late proposal on Thursday from the Phoenix Suns which would've involved Guard Eric Bledsoe, have acquired Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett from the Cavaliers. Along with that, a $6.3 million trade exception goes to the Timberwolves from Cleveland.
Minnesota also receives Thaddeus Young from Philadelphia, while the 76ers receive Alexey Shved, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute from Minnesota, along with Miami's 2015 first-round pick (from Cleveland).
With Irving staying, LeBron coming back, Love on board, also the signings of Mike Miller, James Jones and Shawn Marion, the move makes the Cleveland Cavaliers the automatic favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference.
It has definitely been a summer to remember for the Cavaliers, as they re-signed All-Star Guard Kyrie Irving to a six year deal, while also bringing All-Star Forward and arguably the best player in the league, LeBron James, back home.
Cleveland once again had the number one pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, and with that pick, they selected Andrew Wiggins. With Irving, James and Wiggins on the same team, along with other pieces such as Dion Waiters, Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson, the future was becoming ever so bright in the city of Cleveland.
But LeBron James, coming off two championships with the Miami Heat, wants to continue winning, especially for his hometown team -- and going after Kevin Love, an All-Star and one of the best power forwards in the game, who made it clear that he didn't want to stay in Minnesota, was the next step in getting back to the NBA Finals for the fifth consecutive season.
Kevin Love, 25, is also coming off his best NBA season, setting career highs in points (26.1), assists (4.4) and 3-point field goals made (190), while averaging 12.5 rebounds.
To go after Love, Wiggins was the number one trade option that Minnesota was interested in. The 19 year-old number one pick out of Kansas was unsure where he would be playing this season, especially when rumors started swirling about him being moved to Minnesota while he was playing in the Las Vegas summer league for the Cavaliers.
Along with Wiggins, Anthony Bennett -- the number one overall pick in 2013, goes to Minnesota, where he would be looking to bounce back from a disappointing rookie season. Thaddeus Young becomes another big piece added to the Timberwolves roster.
From a Minnesota standpoint, trading a top level three-time All-Star like Kevin Love wasn't easy -- but getting back two young players looking to make a name for themselves while proving their old team wrong in trading them, and getting a talented forward like Thaddeus Young in return, has to have the franchise feeling good about this deal.
As far as the Cavaliers go, this move catapults them to the top of the Eastern Conference. A new big 3 is formed with James, Love and Irving. An exciting time in Cleveland is upon us. A city that's yearning for a professional championship.
They made it to the Finals once before in 2007 before getting swept by the Spurs, and with this roster, on paper -- all signs point forward to them playing deep in June.