Reports: Love deal finally done
Update 2 p.m.:
Aug 23 (Reuters) - The Cleveland Cavaliers have sent top overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins and former number one pick Anthony Bennett to the Minnesota Timberwolves for prized All-Star forward Kevin Love as part of a blockbuster three-team deal.
Cleveland also sent a protected 2015 first-round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers, who will acquire guard Alexey Shved and forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute from the Timberwolves in exchange for veteran forward Thaddeus Young in the multi-player trade.
The addition of Love, who will team up with recently-signed four-time league most valuable player LeBron James and exciting young talent Kyrie Irving, further solidifies the Cavaliers as a favourite to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals.
"Kevin joining the Cavaliers represents a very special and unique opportunity for our team," Cavaliers general manager David Griffin said in a statement after the three-way trade was formally announced on Saturday.
"At only 25, Kevin has already firmly established himself as one the NBA's elite players and his talent, versatility and fit are major parts of our team's vision for success."
The Love deal was announced in principle earlier this month but could not be finalized until Saturday because Wiggins, who was taken first overall by Cleveland in June, could not be traded until 30 days after the signing of his rookie contract.
Bennett, the first overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft, had a rough start to his rookie campaign with Cleveland but improved as the season progressed. He averaged 4.2 points and 3.0 rebounds in 52 games.
"With the additions of Wiggins, Bennett and Zach LaVine this summer, we have brought in three exciting young athletes who all have the potential to have an impact in this league.
"I appreciate all that Kevin, Luc and Alexey have done for our organization and wish them the best of luck with their new teams."
According to local media, the Cavaliers made the deal with Minnesota with a firm agreement that Love will opt out of his contract in 2015 and re-sign with the Cavaliers on a five-year, $120 million-plus contract extension.
Love averaged 26.1 points per game, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists last season for aMinnesota team that went 40-42 and was nine games back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. (Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry)
Update: 1 p.m.
The Sports Xchange
The wait is finally over.
The Kevin Love trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers was made Saturday after the 30-day waiting period ended.
Teams involved in the deal called the NBA office Saturday, according to multiple reports.
Minnesota received guard/forward Andrew Wiggins and center Anthony Bennett fromCleveland. Wiggins was the No. 1 pick in this year's draft and Bennett was the top draft choice in 2013. The Timberwolves also get a trade exception believed to be worth at least $4 million.
The teams had to wait 30 days to make the trade public after Cleveland signed Wiggins on July 24. Teams must wait the period as of the date draft picks are signed.
With the addition of Love, the Cavaliers are expected to be the top contender to win the Eastern Conference next season. Star forward LeBron James left the Miami Heat and signed a free agent deal with Cleveland. The Cavaliers also have point guard Kyrie Irving.
The trade is expected to be officially announced later Saturday.
Phoenix explored possible sign-and-trade deals involving guard Eric Bledsoe, ESPN reported Friday that the Suns reached out to Minnesota to gauge whether the Timberwolves would be a willing trade partner involving Kevin Love. Minnesota did not accept the offer.