The proposed Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love swap remains a possibility, but it doesn’t appear as if the Cleveland Cavaliers are willing to budge on sending their No. 1 overall pick to Minnesota.
Similarly, the Golden State Warriors and Timberwolves had a holdup in their proposed Love deal when Klay Thompson was asked to be included in the package.
What’s the deal? Is Love overrated? Why are the Cavaliers unwilling to send a player that has never played an NBA game for an All-Star forward?
Here’s five reasons why the Cavs prefer Wiggins to Love:
1. Could Wiggins emerge as LeBron’s Robin?
Dwyane Wade was James’ Robin in Miami, and we anticipate Kyrie Irving will fill a similar role now that he’s re-signed with Cleveland. But some general managers believe Wiggins has the greater upside to be that player.
According to ESPN, NBA general managers believe based on Wiggins’ two summer-league outings he could be a better talent to fit alongside LeBron. And while Irving is a point guard, Wiggins can be the Cavs’ No. 2 scorer now and in the future.
2. Is Love overrated?
Don’t get me wrong: there’s a reason why almost every NBA team has made calls to the Timberwolves asking about the All-Star big man. He can score in the paint, shoot from the perimeter, and collect rebounds.
But Love doesn’t play defense. Wiggins is touted for having the ability to be an elite defender, and isn’t that what made the difference for the Heat during James’ two championship runs?
3. Does Wiggins have “star potential?”
According to the front-office people, yes.
One GM told ESPN that Wiggins is probably a year away from being a legitimate contributor, and in the long-run could be a star.
In addition, with James and Irving already embedded as stars, there’s no pressure on Wiggins to develop quicker than he needs to. In Minnesota, he’ll be counted on to be a superstar right off the bat.
4. Wiggins is the cheaper option
Love is going to force one team to open their checkbooks next offseason when he’s due for a max contract. In contrast, Wiggins is going to be under a rookie deal for the next three or four years.
The Cavs are paying LeBron close to the max, and they may need to re-do their deal with him in 2015 or 2016. It might be trickier to maneuver deals for James and Love in one offseason.
5. Be patient, Cavaliers
Right now Minnesota holds all of the power in trade talks. The team doesn’t need to deal Love this summer; it can wait until the NBA trade deadline when contenders become more desperate and willing give up more.
Whether he gets traded now or then, he’ll still likely hit free agency next summer, and he can choose to sign with any team he so desires. If he wants to join up with LeBron, he can go to the Cavaliers without the team having to part ways with any of its young players.