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Cleveland Would Include Andrew Wiggins in a Trade for Kevin Love

LeBron James made his decision last week, and now, the Minnesota Timberwolves have one on the table as well.

To trade Kevin Love or to not trade him. Sounds like a William Shakespeare play. To make it easier, the Cleveland Cavaliers said that they would trade their No. 1 draft pick and potential superstar, Andrew Wiggins for Love. Before yesterday, the Cavaliers only would trade Dion Waiters, Anthony Bennett, and draft picks for the Minnesota All-Star forward.

That sounds egregious considering what Love has done for the Timberwolves franchise. He averages a double-double, is a threat inside and outside, is great at throwing outlet passes, and is a three-time All-Star. On the opposite spectrum, he’s a top ten NBA player that hasn’t ever led Minnesota to a playoff berth, and is not much of a defensive player.

James has reached out to Love in an effort to bring him to Cleveland and the pair would be tough to bet against in the Eastern Conference. Trading Love for Wiggins is the only option the Timberwolves can afford to do. In four Summer League games, the former Kansas star is shooting 40.5% from the field while averaging 15.5 points, and 3.5 rebounds. He also threw down a behind the back 360 dunk in practice.

What’s Dion Waiters and Anthony Bennett worth? Well, Waiters averaged 15.9 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 3.0 assists a game in 2013-2014.  In 52 games, Bennett, another former No. 1 pick, averaged 4.2 points and 3.0 rebounds in his rookie season. In Summer League, Bennett is looking better, shooting 42.6% from the field while averaging 13.3 points and 7.8 rebounds.

Wiggins’ potential outweighs Waiters and Bennett. He’s exciting to watch, can score, and while at Kansas, his mark on defense was clear. There would be some growing pains in the backcourt with Zach LaVine and Wiggins, but if you are watching either of them in Summer League, the duo would be ecstatic to watch at the Target Center.

If I were the Timberwolves, I would do it. Love is almost certainly gone after next season barring a Portland Trailblazers-like run to the playoffs in 2014-2015. Interest in the Timberwolves would decrease by losing Love, but in return, Wiggins’ versatility could bring it back.

Meanwhile, if I was the Cavaliers, I’d be careful trading Wiggins. At 29, James is in his prime and having a young superstar with Wiggins (19 years old), they can try to win championships now and build for the future. As Bill Simmons writes, what if Wiggins becomes the Scottie Pippen to James? That would be scary.

Say I’m Flip Saunders, I think I take the potential of Wiggins over the uncertainty of Love in Minneapolis. It gives the Timberwolves a brighter future and the Cavaliers a chance to win championships.

What do you think?

*For comments and story ideas, email Sam at tastadsam@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter @samtastad.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images


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