The Minnesota Timberwolves have reached an agreement in principle to send All-Star forward Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a protected 2015 first-round draft pick, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Cleveland is making the deal with Minnesota with a firm agreement Love will opt out of his contract in 2015 and re-sign with the Cavaliers on a five-year, $120 million-plus contract extension, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Minnesota has agreed to turn around and trade Anthony Bennett to the Philadelphia 76ers for Thad Young to replace Love at power forward. And they have Wiggins to play either small forward or shooting guard (if they can unload Kevin Martin’s contract).
Now, the team also will probably get Ray to Allen to sign up since he said if the Love trade happens he’ll agree to there.
The starting lineup is certainly very nice on paper, but Irving and Love have both missed a lot of playing time over the last 3-4 seasons due to injuries (not to mention Varejao) which leads us to the all-important and under-rated aspect, the bench.
They don’t have a backup PG if Irving gets hurt, Dellavedova? He’s a D-League caliber player that only got playing time because the Cavs were so bad. He averaged 4.7 points per game and 2.6 assists per game in almost 18 minutes per contest.
Haywood is 35 and hasn’t shown to be that durable so Thompson may be forced into the backup C role in a small-ball lineup, which helps him get more playing time but leaves them vulnerable on defense.
Assuming Marion and Allen sign, they are 2 very good players off the bench if injuries don’t hit. If they do, their depth gets seriously tested as Marion and Allen aren’t 28-30mpg players any longer. Their limit is about 18-20mpg.
This team is a lot better than last season’s that won just 33 games, but I see 52-55 wins as their ceiling and I think they are behind Chicago and Washington as the 3rd best team in the Eastern Conference. Both teams got a lot better and they were already a playoff team last season while Cleveland will be integrating a lot of new players to their core group and will need some time.
The Cavs are certainly a team to be reckoned with after several bad seasons, but they may be another year or two away from being serious contenders. Chemistry issues will be paramount as each of the new Big 3 are used to being the #1 option on offense and they have a viable new head coach, but he’s a rookie at coaching in the NBA. There are many questions, but this season will certainly be must watch TV.
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