Akron Beacon Journal
The Cavaliers have relented and are willing to include Andrew Wiggins in a deal involving Kevin Love, the Lake County News-Herald reported on Thursday.
The Cavs and Minnesota Timberwolves re-engaged in trade talks this week, multiple league sources said, in an attempt to bring Kevin Love to the Cavs.
Talks between the two teams were dormant until LeBron James returned to the Cavs last week, changing the landscape of negotiations and bringing the two teams back to the table.
One source with knowledge of the discussions told the Beacon Journal even before James’ decision “no one is untouchable” on the Cavs in relation to a Love deal. That excludes Kyrie Irving, who isn’t eligible to be traded for six months after signing his extension.
Coaches and front office executives polled in Las Vegas during summer league agreed that James will ultimately have the final say on the pursuit of Love. If he instructs the team to make a deal, they will.
The Timberwolves have insisted Wiggins be included in any real trade discussions with the Cavs. One league executive from a rival club said he wouldn’t trade Wiggins until the Cavs know whether he can fill the shooting guard position between Irving and James.
Indeed, the debate of a Wiggins/Love trade was polarizing among league executives and coaches in Las Vegas, with a handful holding strong views on both sides.
“LeBron is 29 and there are a lot of miles on those tires,” one NBA assistant coach said. “Make the deal. Win while you can.”
Love, 25, can become a free agent after the season. He would likely have to waive his early termination option, ensuring the Cavs would have him for at least two years, before the Cavs would commit to a deal.
Love is reportedly open to signing long term with the Cavs now that James is here.
Love averaged a career-high 26.1 points last season and 12.5 rebounds. He is arguably one of the top 10-15 players in the game today and will participate in the FIBA World Cup this fall alongside Irving in Spain.
Love has also appeared in Irving’s Pepsi Max hit series Uncle Drew.
One remaining stumbling block is making the salaries match under the league’s trading rules, since Love will earn nearly $16 million this season, and Wiggins will make about $5 million as the top overall pick. But league executives in Las Vegas dismissed that as a serious problem because teams routinely find ways to make the money work.
Mike Miller, who agreed to join the Cavs earlier this week, said he is recruiting Ray Allen to join the Cavs.
Speaking on ESPN radio on Thursday, Miller said “of course” he’s recruiting Allen and said he left money on the table elsewhere to pursue a championship alongside James in Cleveland.
“We got James Jones, now we’re moving Miami to Northeast Ohio,” Miller said. “With LeBron James, you are going to win 55 to 60 games regardless. Now it’s about what you do in the playoffs.”
Lakers claim Boozer
The Los Angeles Lakers have claimed Carlos Boozer after he was waived by the Chicago Bulls via the amnesty clause.
According to NBA rules, teams with room under the salary cap had to bid at least $1.4 million, the amount of the minimum salary for veterans next season. The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because there was no official announcement, did not say how much the Lakers bid.
The amnesty clause allows teams to waive a player without his salary counting for cap and tax purposes.