Kevin Love To Cleveland: The Fallout

Kevin Love

The Cleveland Cavaliers have finally landed their guy. …their other guy.

The Cavs and Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed in principle on a trade that will send Kevin Love to Cleveland in exchange for 2014 No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, 2013 No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett and a protected first-round pick in 2015, according to Yahoo! Sports.

The deal will not be finalized until Aug. 23, because Wiggins cannot be traded until at least one month after he signs his rookie contract.

LeBron James re-signing with the Cavaliers already shook up the Eastern Conference. Now he’s assembling a new-look Big Three in his hometown. Here is the fallout of the trade:

1. Championship favorites

LeBron relocating to Cleveland already put the Cavs atop Las Vegas’ best bets to win the 2014-15 NBA Championship. The addition of Love gives the team an even better shot.

James, Love and Kyrie Irving are the NBA’s new Big Three. But unlike in Miami this past championship run, the Cavs have a better surrounding cast around the superstars.

Dion Waiters and Anderson Varejao should start at shooting guard and center, respectively. Tristan Thompson, Mike Miller and James Jones are all offensive threats to come off the bench. Oh, and the team is still trying to add Shawn Marion and Ray Allen to further bolster its depth.

2. Love for the long haul

Not only is the trade agreed to in principle, but there’s a five-year, $120 million agreement in place for Love to remain with the Cavaliers for the long haul.

With Love locked up for the foreseeable future, a long-term deal in the works for Irving and James likely planning to finish his career in Cleveland (barring an unforeseen change of mind in 2016 when the max contract should be raised), it gives the Cavaliers an extremely large championship window.

3. Chicago, Golden State whiff

Neither the Bulls or Warriors were able to nab Love from Minnesota. The Bulls’ proposed offer wasn’t enticing enough for the Timberwolves in comparison to what Cleveland was offering, while Golden State was simply unwilling to budge when it came to including Klay Thompson in the deal.

In the East, it means Chicago is no better than No. 2 when comparing rosters. Expect to see these two squads battle in the Conference Finals.

4. Free agency in 2015

The Knicks, Lakers and Celtics — in addition to all of the other rebuilding teams that had hopes of landing Love when he hit the free-agent market next summer — it’s time to start looking elsewhere.

LaMarcus Aldridge, Al Jefferson, Anthony Davis, Brook Lopez, Damian Lillard and Klay Thompson headline the 2015-16 free agency class. Perhaps those teams hoping to acquire Love need to start considering these alternative options, or perhaps a trade.

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Sam Spiegelman
Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.