The Minnesota Timberwolves begin a new era on Tuesday. Fans and the team go from mourning the loss of one of the 10 best players in the NBA to looking towards the future.
Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and Thaddeus Young will be introduced as members of the Timberwolves at the State Fair on Tuesday afternoon.
The introduction comes just days after the Wolves were forced to trade away another one of their franchise players as Kevin Love was sent to Cleveland in a three-team deal that brought the trio to Minnesota.
Young will be counted to to replace some of Love's production at the forward position. He averaged 17.9 points and six rebounds per game last year for Philadelphia.
Wiggins is the centerpiece of the deal. The top pick in this year's NBA Draft is thought by many to be a special combination of size and athleticism. CBS Sports believes that Wiggins is capable of becoming a franchise player.
Bennett is the major unknown. He was the top pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, but had a disappointing rookie season. He averaged 4.2 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in 52 games last year for Cleveland, though he put together a pretty good showing in the NBA's Summer League in July. According to CBS, he has a chance to make an impact if he stays in shape.
CBS gives both Minnesota and Cleveland A+ on the trade.
The Bleacher Report thinks Wiggins is a better building block for the Wolves than Love.
"This is a new era the Timberwolves are embarking on, one that, despite Love's all-world talents, they need to begin. The previous Love-focused rebuild wasn't working. It was, by and large, a disaster.
Love's Timberwolves didn't make the playoffs. No matter how well he played, no matter how talented his supporting cast was, the status quo was never enough."
Even last season when the Wolves had placed their most talented cast around Love with a veteran head coach in Rick Adelman, the best the Timberwolves could do was win 40 games.
The trade will give the Wolves a young and athletic core that should be able to play at an uptempo style to support the team's flashy point guard Ricky Rubio.
It's hard to argue with the notion that Cleveland is the real winner of the trade, though. Cleveland.com notes that the Cavs have one thing on their minds for this season – winning an NBA Championship.
According to Sports Illustrated, the addition of Love to a lineup that already includes LeBron James and Kyrie Irving will make the Cavaliers one of the favorites to contend for it.
But for the Wolves S-I says:
"Landing Wiggins how Timberwolves general manager Flip Saunders did amounts to an excellent salvage job as opposed to a clear cut grand slam. Minnesota didn't luck out in the lottery, cashing in free ping pong balls for the rights to Wiggins. Instead, the franchise is losing a top 10 talent in Love, a player entering his prime who had been the centerpiece of years worth of moves in the past. This trade requires a total change of expectations and yet another multi-year rebuilding process. The short-term costs of losing Love will outweigh the benefits received by adding Wiggins for multiple seasons."