For months, the Golden State Warriors have been the odds-on favorite to land Kevin Love in a trade if in fact the Timberwolves do decide to trade their superstar forward.
But with LeBron James’ decision to return to the Cavaliers earlier on Friday, they may not the favorites anymore.
Love, who previously was adamant that he would not sign a long-term extension with the Cavaliers if traded there, now has changed his mind 180 degrees and would commit to Cleveland if that means playing with James, according to ESPN.
What does that mean?
It means that suddenly, the Warriors may not get Love even if they throw together their best offer of Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, David Lee and a first round pick. Thompson has reportedly been the sticking point in a potential deal, as the Warriors are reluctant to part with the starting two-guard while the Timberwolves won’t part with Love without acquiring Thompson.
But even if the Warriors say “screw it, we’re getting Love no mater what it takes” and present the Timberwolves with the aforementioned offer, there’s no guarantee that Minnesota would take it because the Cavaliers can present them with an equal or even better offer.
Cleveland can throw together a package centered around first overall pick Andrew Wiggins. While Thompson has the experience and a proven skill-set to be a productive NBA player, Wiggins has the upside and could become a franchise player. For a Timberwolves team that is looking for a fresh start, Wiggins is the perfect player to bring in and develop into a superstar.
ESPN reports that the Cavaliers have offered Dion Waiter, Anthony Bennett and a first rounder in exchange for Love, but that’s just the starting offer. As the talks go deeper, there is no doubt that the Timberwolves will demand Wiggins from the Cavs in any deal for Love, much like they would demand Thompson from the Warriors.
The Cavaliers, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports, are willing to put Wiggins in play in trade talks, and that spells trouble for the Warriors.
So that brings us to some essential questions moving forward surrounding the Warriors and Kevin Love: 1) Are the Warriors willing to part with Klay Thompson if that means bringing in Kevin Love, 2) Are the Cavaliers willing to part with Andrew Wiggins if that means bringing in Kevin Love, and 3) Would the Timberwolves prefer Thompson or Wiggins?
This could move quickly once the details of LeBron’s contract with the Cavs are announced and the signing made official, so the answers to those questions should come very soon.