The Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed in principle to trade All-Star forward Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Should it be made official, Love will join four-time MVP LeBron James.
"The Minnesota Timberwolves have reached an agreement in principle to send All-Star forward Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavliers for Andrew Wiggins, Andrew Bennett and a protected 2015 first-round draft pick, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
"Cleveland is making the deal with Minnesota with a firm agreement Love will opt out of his contract in 2015 and re-sign with the Cavaliers on a five-year, $120 million-plus contract extension, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
"The deal cannot be finalized until Aug. 23, because Wiggins, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, cannot be traded until one month after the signing of the rookie contract. The two teams have agreed to the deal, but neither would have recourse if the other decided to pull out of the arrangement before it can be formally completed this month. No third team is involved in the Cavaliers-Timberwolves trade agreement.
"The precise deal terms have been agreed upon for weeks, but the teams and Love plan to stay silent about the particulars until the trade is announced in 16 days, sources told Yahoo Sports.
"Love will join superstar LeBron James and Kyrie Irving to create the most devastating trio in the NBA and will instantly make the Cavaliers a frontrunner to win the NBA championship.
"Part of the Cavaliers' motivation in making the deal for Love was a belief Love would have ended up with the rival Chicago Bulls in a trade and created a significant obstacle in the Eastern Conference, sources said. Cleveland wouldn't have had the salary-cap space to sign Love next summer and could only have obtained him through the trade with Minnesota in a deal now.
"Wiggins is the centerpiece of the package for Minnesota. The Timberwolves see superstar potential in the forward out of Kansas. Bennett, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft, has shown signs of progress after a difficult start to his rookie season.
"Love, 25, is a three-time NBA All-Star. He averaged 26 points and 12.5 rebounds for the Timberwolves last season. For his career, he's averaged 19 points and 12.2 rebounds."
The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Terry Pluto weighed in on the development:
"Dan Gilbert loves to play the odds.
"The Cavs owner does it with his mortgage business, Quicken Loans. And he does it with his Horseshoe Casino in downtown Cleveland.
"He looks at a situation, considers the risk -- and makes his best guess (or bet) on what often is a bold move.
"That's what Gilbert and Cavs general manager David Griffin did when they made a major salary cap-clearing trade with the hope of signing LeBron James before they even had a deal with James. It worked out, as James signed a two-year contract. It is complicated, with a player option for 2015-16. But the Cavs bought James home, and were willing to take him back on any terms.
"That was wise, and it changed the course of the franchise.
"The pending acquisition of Kevin Love is another example of playing the odds. They are expected to trade the top two picks in the last two drafts -- Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett -- along with a protected 2015 first-round pick to Minnesota for Love.
"No matter how many reports you hear about Love committing to a long-term deal with the Cavs, it won't happen right now. I wrote this a few weeks ago, and nothing has changed.
"There is no long-term agreement binding between Love and the Cavs. In fact, it can't happen. The only thing Love and his agent can say is something like, 'As of now, we'd really like to stay with the Cavs.'"
The 25-year-old Love is entering his seventh NBA season. He has averaged 19.2 points, 12.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 364 regular-season games, per ESPN stats.