ESPN is reporting the Cleveland Cavaliers are trading Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a 2015 first round picks to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love.
Since Wiggins can’t be traded officially until August 23rd, until then it’s just a “handshake agreement” between the two franchises.
While adding Love looks great, it’s a move the Cavaliers may soon regret.
Sure, Love led the NBA in double-doubles last season with 65 in only 77 games.
According to ESPN Stats, “A big three of LeBron James with Kyrie Irving and Love could be the best trio in the NBA. According to win shares, which measures the estimated number of wins a player contributes to his team’s total, those three combined for 36.9 last season. That is more than any trio of teammates, and more than the win totals of 11 NBA teams last season.”
By any statistical measure, it appears are first blush that adding Love is a no-brainer and a great move by the Cavs.
But adding Love creates more holes on Cleveland’s roster.
Cleveland still lacks a rim protector and now they lack depth on the wing to give LeBron James the rest he wanted.
Mike Miller may be able to pick up some of those minutes, but Miller hasn’t had the best track record in regards to staying healthy during the twilight of his career. Relying on a trio of Miller, Dion Waiters and LeBron James to play heavy minutes could prove to be a recipe for disaster.
Kyrie Irving averaged 17.4 field goal attempts per game last season while Love averaged 18.5. Both players have been alpha dogs their entire collegiate and NBA careers and it’s a legitimate question if they can give up touches or being the focus of an offense.
The fact Cleveland gave up so quickly on their last two first overall picks has to be worrisome.
Sure, Bennett might have had a hard time cracking this rotation, but he looked like a much-improved player during summer league in Las Vegas. If it was a result of offseason surgery to help deal with breathing issues then the Cavs clearly sold low and were too inpatient to wait to see his value rise.
Losing Wiggins will almost certainly hurt. He could have stepped in during training camp and provided the perfect 1-2 punch with James on the wing. Sure, his jumper needs work, but he showed in Las Vegas that by being aggressive attacking the rim he could draw fouls and get easy points.
Wiggins also would have taken the burden off James on the defensive end by the end of his rookie season. Having two defensive dynamos in James and Wiggins would have been scary for the rest of the NBA.
But, Love is the teammate James wanted so Love ended up in Cleveland.
Time will tell if this was a good move or not. Personally, I would have kept Wiggins if I was running the Cavaliers.