The Minnesota Timberwolves agreed to trade Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a three-team deal that will net the franchise No. 1 overall picks Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, Philadelphia 76ers power forward Thaddeus Young, and a trade exception.
Notice anything missing? Yep. There's no "sources say," no "according to reports." No mention it's "expected to be completed" at a later date.
It's done, and the Timberwolves announced the move Saturday afternoon.
Says Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders in a statement:
"We are excited to add three young, talented and athletic players to our team ... 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. All three of them complement each other very well and we believe they will be foundations of our team for years to come. In Young we are getting a proven NBA player who is entering the prime of his career."
In addition to sending Love to Ohio, the Wolves' Alexey Shved and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute were shipped to Philadelphia. A first-round pick owned by the Cleveland Cavaliers (as part of a trade with the Miami Heat) will head to the 76ers as well.
"I appreciate all that Kevin, Luc and Alexey have done for our organization and wish them the best of luck with their new teams," Saunders says.
By swinging the trade through Philadelphia, the Wolves were also able to net a $6.3 million trade exception, ESPN's Brian Windhorst reports.
All three of the Timberwolves' new players will be introduced on Tuesday, Aug. 26 at the Minnesota State Fair. Details will be released Saturday afternoon.
Meet the new guys
The Kansas City Star described Wiggins as possessing a "quiet, understated confidence," someone who wasn't comfortable giving media interviews or talking about himself, trying to deflect attention elsewhere.
But big things are expected from the 19-year-old Ontario native. In his lone year at Kansas, Wiggins set Jayhawk freshman records for scoring average (17.1 ppg), points (597), field goals attempted (422), free throws made (176) and free throws attempted (227). He's athletically gifted and 6-foot-8 (with a wingspan five inches longer).
Bennett, also from Canada, has a lot to prove. The 21-year-old was taken No. 1 in the 2013 NBA Draft (to the surprise of many), and had a difficult first year in the NBA. The 6-foot-8, 256-pounder averaged just 4.2 points and 3 rebounds per game as a rookie, shooting a subpar 35.6 percent in 52 games played.
But as CBS Sports reported, Bennett appeared at Las Vega Summer League in much better shape than before, having shed a significant number of pounds. He went on to play well in the exhibition league, showing the tantalizing flashes of athleticism that made him a high pick to begin with.
With Love no longer on this club, the 26-year-old Young is expected to step in and start at the power forward spot. He averaged a career-high 17.9 points and 6 rebounds per game while last season, shooting 45 percent from the field for a 76ers squad that finished 19-63. He played in 79 games, starting in all but one, and has never played less than 63 games in a season during his seven-year career.
He has a cap hit of about $9.4 million this year, with a raise to about $9.9 million the following season. But Young can opt out ate the end of this season and be an unrestricted free agent – a move he was reportedly planning to do while with the 76ers.
The Cavaliers now add the power of Love – a 25-year-old elite-scoring power forward – to a roster that includes the best player in the world LeBron James and young All-Star Kyrie Irving.
“Kevin joining the Cavaliers represents a very special and unique opportunity for our team," Cleveland general manager David Griffin says in a statement. "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."
For ESPN, Windhorst says Love hasn't agreed to a contract extension (as was rumored weeks ago), and the Cavaliers only have him under contract for one year. But the belief, he says, is they'll be able to keep him after his current deal expires because he wants to play with James.
An introductory press conference is set for 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Here's the current roster (at this point) listed as a completely unofficial depth chart:
PG: Ricky Rubio – Mo Williams – JJ Barea
SG: Kevin Martin – Zach LaVine – Othyus Jeffers
SF: Corey Brewer – Andrew Wiggins – Glenn Robinson III – Chase Budinger – Shabazz Muhammad – Robbie Hummel
PF: Thad Young – Anthony Bennett
C: Nikola Pekovic – Gorgui Dieng – Ronny Turiaf