NBA: Report states Bennett going to Sixers in Love deal
The Cleveland Cavaliers sent Bennett, guard/forward Andrew Wiggins and a future first-round draft pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Love.
Minnesota will send Bennett, as part of a package of players, to Philadelphia in exchange for forward Thaddeus Young.
The deal will become official on Aug. 23. Cleveland signed No. 1 draft choice Wiggins on July 24. NBA rules stipulate that draft picks cannot be traded within 30 days of their signing.
Bennett, 20, was the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft but struggled as a rookie. He averaged just 4.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 12.8 minutes over 52 games.
Love, 25, averaged 19 points and 12.2 rebounds with the Timberwolves but never made the playoffs. In the final year of his rookie contract, Love planned to test the free agent market in July 2015 if he was not traded by the Timberwolves, who took the opportunity to get a young potential star in return rather than lose him on the open market.
According to Yahoo! Sports, the Cavaliers could not have created ample salary cap space to sign Love in free agency and fretted he would land with the Chicago Bulls, who also made a significant trade offer.
Love, star forward LeBron James and point guard Kyrie Irving re-establish a “Big Three” for the rest of the Eastern Conference to contend with, and threatens to shift the balance of power from Miami to Cleveland. James took the Heat to four consecutive NBA Finals appearances, including two titles, before returning to the Cavaliers on a two-year deal in July. James can opt out of his contract after the 2014-15 season.
Love and Irving, 22, will each be signed through the 2018-19 season, a significant coup for first-year general manager David Griffin.
The structure of James’ contract, which includes a player option for next season, might create some uneasiness for the franchise. But even without James, the young tandem of Irving and Love could make the Cavaliers playoff contenders.