WTF Just Happened: Kevin Love to the Cavaliers?
This week the worst kept secret in all of sports was reported as all but finalized; the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers had agreed to a trade involving All-star forward Kevin Love for the last two first overall picks, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett.
How did this happen? Well LeBron James signed in Cleveland which instantly made them the best team in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland had miraculously won the NBA draft lottery 3 times in the last 4 years so they were loaded with a bevy of young assets that made them the perfect trading partner for Minnesota.
Why would Minnesota trade Kevin Love if he is an All-Star? Because Kevin Love is tired of losing all the time in Minnesota, his best teammate couldn’t hit the Atlantic Ocean if he was standing on a boat in the middle of it. Furthermore he has been taking unnecessary slack for the team’s failures. Kevin Love is a free agent in one year and there was 0% chance he stayed in Minnesota.
Anything else we need to know logistically? Yes, Kevin Love is only a free agent next year because the team stupidly offered him a 4 year contract when they could have offered him a 5. The David Khan era somehow made it even worse to live in Minnesota than it already did.
What about the package Minnesota got back? Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett (supposedly set to be traded) and a future first round pick? That’s a terrific haul for a guy leaving anyway. Wiggins has the potential to be a big enough star in a few years that he can force his way to a better team (I kid Minnesota, I love your accents.)
What about Cleveland? The Cavaliers have somehow constructed a better team on paper than the one that just won the Eastern Conference. They have surrounded LeBron with two of the best players under 26 in the league and a slew of interesting role players. They could use a big man that can protect the rim ala Chris Anderson but I’m nit-picking. It’s a nice team and one that will certainly contend for a title.
How does Love fit in a basketball sense? Love is a great passer, terrific shooter for his size and maybe the best rebounder in the league. He is also one of the NBA’s smartest players. It may take some getting used to since the Cavs will not be force feeding him the ball the way the Timberwolves did but I think he will adjust. He is going to feast on a barrage of open threes and offensive rebounds. There might be a method for stopping a LeBron/Love pick and roll but I can’t think of one short of building a brick wall 20 feet high in front of the hoop.
Side note: I’ve been playing basketball for years with my friends Mez and Drew who have been playing together even longer. Once a game Mez will yell, “Go Drew” when he knows he is going to secure a rebound, Drew will go racing down court and Mez will unleash a beautiful full court pass for a layup that leaves me shaking my head every time. We can only assume that LeBron and Love will be doing this once a game at least. I can’t think of a more fun pairing than the league’s best outlet passer with its fastest player/most devastating open court player.
What about Kyrie Irving? Kyrie Irving should thank whatever higher deity he believes in every day for his incredible basketball luck. Kyrie Irving going from the point guard on the 2013/2014 Cavs to this current iteration is like going from eating Mcdonalds to getting a blowjob from Kate Upton while eating In n Out.
Does this make the Cavaliers the favorites to win the title this year? Well, there is still this little team called the San Antonio Spurs and their official designation as reigning world champs. But it should be a shit ton of fun to watch.