It’s been a while since anything’s been written on HTW but for good reason. Amidst the stir of rumors containing the one and only Kevin Love, I feel it’s been fair to stay away until the fluid situation starts to solidify a little bit more.
Today was that day, and sort of for the wrong reasons.
The Cleveland Cavaliers officially signed Andrew Wiggins to his rookie scale deal today, which also invokes the rule that Wiggins cannot be traded for 30 days per the CBA. I know what most of your reactions probably were, ranging from anger to sadness or all-in-one. Although it is frustrating that a trade couldn’t be worked out before, there’s actually a good reason this is how things had to go down.
The signing was only the first step in a series of events in this saga. Obviously the wild rumors come first but they all meant nothing until Wiggins actually signed his contract. With Wiggins’ deal at 120 percent the rookie scale, the Wolves-Cavs can now start to balance out the money in a potential deal a lot easier. With his money, Anthony Bennett’s similar wages and the host of non-guaranteed contracts the Cavs just traded for already, the two teams are already a lot closer on swinging a deal that works with the salary cap. In fact, per CBA rules, the Cavs must send out at least $10.5 million to make it work. Wiggins’ new deal and Bennett’s is right there.
Now down to the problem with all of this, if that’s what you’d even wanna call it.
30 days seems like an eternity considering all the hype and talking that went down in the past week. In today’s world of a Twitter-driven reporting medium, the news is instant and credible, so all these reports have everyone’s head on a swivel. If so much could be leaked in the past week, just imagine how infuriating it will be to watch report after report scroll by when nothing can really happen for 30 days.
Within those 30 days will be more than just Wolves-Cavs talk, though. A few days ago, it was reported that the Chicago Bulls had officially offered a package for Love, centered on Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and maybe Nikola Mirotic. I’ll be up-front about this now but I firmly believe no such offer has actually been given but that won’t stop the reports from flooding in. Perhaps in a week we’ll hear of a “new and better” Chicago offer, or maybe an official offer from the Denver Nuggets or even the Phoenix Suns. It only contributes to the madness of this 30 day moratorium but it’s all a part of the deal.
The only two cons I see coming out of this for the Wolves are as follows:
- Golden State jumps in the party, officially offers Klay Thompson
- The Wolves convince themselves that keeping Love is better for them in the short term
The first would be a real boner. The fan base has already been on their toes about the prospects of getting Wiggins. He offers hope to a fan base that will be seeing its franchise player get traded away yet again. Thompson is completely the opposite. Although a good fit next to Rubio, a deal with the Warriors is salary cap suicide, and there’s no two ways around it. Having 30 days to ponder a potential deal with Golden State could be Flip Saunders’ doom but let’s hope GSW stands still and continues to hold tight on not including Thompson.
As for the second, it’s not a horrible option. Love is a top-5 player in the league. He’s already done his damage to the fan base but, if they somehow start the season with him and begin to win early, fans will quickly forget about the whole ordeal and move on to “We’re the next Portland!” chants. I wouldn’t go so far as to hope for that but, if Love starts the season with the Wolves, his trade value won’t decrease in any way. Perhaps it only grows as the season goes on. After all, Love has a new max contract to play for and will be using the 2014-15 season as an open audition to the league. He won’t want to screw up whether he’s with the Wolves or not come October.
Other than the brutally long wait Wolves fans have in store, there aren’t any real downers about the signing of Wiggins and this bearing 30 day moratorium. It was a formality that had to happen before any trade anyways, unless the two sides got really clever in adding a third team. There will be some things to consider, such as the potential two options laid above, but I think everyone can stay safe in neither really happening. I actually believe the Wolves-Cavs are very close to terms on a trade. Sure the Wolves want even more leverage but if they can’t get it, whatever might be there now should be there in 30 days.
So don’t sweat it. As long as you don’t get caught up into the hype of Twitter for 30 straight days — And good freaking luck with that — this should be all over before you know it.