The Cleveland Cavaliers are set to sign 2014 first-overall pick Andrew Wiggins this week, per multiple reports.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are signing Andrew Wiggins this week.
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ESPN's Brian Windhorst says the delay in locking up the prized rookie -- the first overall pick of the 2014 NBA draft -- has nothing to do with speculation he will be traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for highly-sought All-Star forward Kevin Love:
"The Cleveland Cavaliers are planning to sign No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins to a contract in the coming week, according to sources close to the process.
"Sources told ESPN.com that the Cavaliers' delay in signing the former Kansas star has nothing to do with the prospect of Wiggins being dealt to the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of Cleveland's ongoing trade discussions for Kevin Love.
"The Cavaliers, sources say, are merely exploring options for using their estimated $1.4 million in remaining cap space before signing Wiggins to a contract that will pay him in the neighborhood of $5.5 million as a rookie.
"The Cavs and Timberwolves have been discussing a Love trade since the return of LeBron James, with sources saying that Minnesota is insistent on getting Wiggins back in any deal that sends Love to Cleveland.
"Once Wiggins signs, though, league rules stipulate that the Cavs must wait 30 days before trading him.
"One option under consideration for the Cavs, sources say, is using their leftover salary-cap space to create long-term contracts for recent second-round picks Joe Harris and Dwight Powell. Signing Wiggins first would preclude such moves.
"The Cavs' delay in formalizing Wiggins' contract has garnered extra attention because of the Love factor, but the reality is that this process is a fairly routine bit of salary-cap management that takes place this time of year with draft picks.
"Once the Cavs exhaust their cap space and sign Wiggins, they are expected to officially sign free agent Mike Miller to a two-year, $5.6 million deal. The Cavs will be signing Miller with their $2.7 million 'room' exception, which can only be used after teams that previously had salary-cap room use it up.
"The Cavs also remain interested in free agent Ray Allen, who is being recruited to Cleveland by former teammates Miller and LeBron James. But Cleveland will only be able to offer him a $1.4 million veteran's minimum contract.
"Allen, who turned 39 on Sunday, has been traveling on a Nike promotional trip to China for the past week as he considers his options for the future."
Sports Illustrated's Ben Golliver spoke with Wiggins on July 18, the end of the latter's first Summer League in the pros:
"The No. 1 overall pick made it through Summer League without getting traded.
"That wouldn't usually be news, but this has been an unusual July in the NBA, especially for the Cavaliers and rookie forward Andrew Wiggins.
"The arrival of LeBron James sparked celebrations in Cleveland and a rumor storm in Las Vegas, where the Cavaliers debuted just hours after the four-time MVP announced his decision to return to the team that drafted him in 2003. The notable omission of Wiggins' name from James' essay with Sports Illustrated's Lee Jenkins left the Kansas product in the uncomfortable position of attempting to make a good first impression while also facing an endless series of questions about his future.
"'It's been crazy,' Wiggins said of his first week on the job, after Cleveland's final Summer League game on Friday. 'It's all positive stuff. With LeBron coming back, there's nothing negative about that at all. The best player in the world coming to your team, it's just a great feeling. The organization is on the rise right now.'
"Of course the situation isn't quite that simple. Trade rumors linking Wiggins and 2013 No.1 overall pick Anthony Bennett in a proposed deal with the Timberwolves that would return All-Star forward Kevin Love picked up major steam this week, setting off 'Wiggins or Love?' debates across the country.
"Reports suggested that James wants Love so that Cleveland would be in position to compete for a title immediately, while other reports indicated that Love was amenable to joining the Cavaliers, while still others linked the Warriors to interest in Love. Denials of the Cavaliers/Timberwolves trade talks have been issued, but they've done little to quiet the noise.
"'Rumors are rumors, that's why they call them rumors,' Cavaliers first-year coach David Blatt said Thursday. 'Sooner or later, in one's career, you're going to have to deal with it. If (Wiggins) has to deal with it now, then so be it. It's Summer League, he's learning as he goes along...(The rumors don't) mean anything. At least right now. That's the beauty of this game, there's always something to talk about.'
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