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Timberwolves fans can rest easy now. The last of what little suspense was left has dissipated, and we’re left with 100 percent of the facts regarding the Kevin Love Saga.
As previously rumored, Minnesota will get Thaddeus Young from the Philadelphia 76ers, as well as Andrew Wiggins from the Cleveland Cavaliers, this year’s No. 1 overall pick, per reports from Star Tribune.
No one expected that the Wolves would also acquire last year’s No. 1 overall pick, Anthony Bennett, from the Cavs as well, but they did. The team will also be granted a $4 million trade exception, which it can use to sign a player within the next year without the hindrance of the salary cap.
Cleveland will get star Kevin Love. The 76ers will acquire the Miami Heat’s first round pick (via Cleveland) and the expiring contracts of Luc Mbah a Moute and Alexy Shved from Minnesota.
image via Facebook from Cavs
This deal obviously looks a lot better for the Wolves now that Young is involved, and they keep Bennett as well, because just Wiggins for Love would have looked pretty shabby indeed. Love is a proven commodity, while Wiggins has not played a single pro minute yet and is obviously just potential at the moment. Minnesota obviously had to shed Love, as he reportedly wanted out and they couldn’t afford losing him for nothing.
Cleveland obviously can’t complain about only getting Love, because if you’re only getting one piece, it would be pretty hard to obtain a better one. Where it all gets convoluted and questionable is on Philly’s end. They are in full rebuild mode and they should want to acquire the youngest talent with the highest ceiling as possible.
While Shved is young, he hasn’t exactly showed the he fits that “high ceiling” billing, although it would simply be disrespectful to say that he doesn’t possess any potential at all. Mbah a Moute isn’t exactly old at 27, according to ESPN.com. That being said though, he isn’t young either. In terms of ceilings, he’s basically reached his in seven pro seasons with three teams, never surpassing 7.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. The fact that he is from Cameroon, the same country as this year’s third overall pick, helps us understand this move a little more, as the former can help the latter in his transition to playing pro ball in the states.
But that’s it. That’s all they got. An average (at best) Shved, Mbah Moute, and a Miami pick that’s probably going to be near the back end of the first round, considering they play in the ever-floundering East. All that for Young, their leading scorer last year?
One can argue that Young isn’t young either and that even though he put up nearly 18 points per contest last year, his skills and style of play didn’t fit the direction that they were wanting to go with, in regards to fellow high draft picks center Nerlens Noel and point guard Michael Carter-Williams?
Regardless, it still doesn’t seem to stack up. While in rebuilding mode, teams can’t afford to make those types of moves.
However, you’ve got to give credit to two parties here: LeBron James and Minnesota. Instead of waiting until Love fled town via free agency next summer, the Timberwolves got some pretty fine pieces for him, including a replacement (albeit nowhere near as productive) at the power forward position to go along with point guard Ricky Rubio, wings Zach LaVine and Shabazz Muhammad, and center Nikola Pekovic.
James succeeded in building his second superstar-laden team in four years, thereby taking the Cavs from an average team with some interesting future pieces to an immediate championship contender most are expecting to duke it out with the San Antonio Spurs in seven games next June, impressive feats indeed. 76ers fans will just have to hope that their team hasn’t set themselves back even further in what’s been an excruciatingly long rebuilding process already.