You’ve probably heard the news: the Wolves reportedly have a deal in place that will send All-Star forward Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers for this year’s number one overall pick Andrew Wiggins, LAST YEAR’S number one overall pick Anthony Bennett, and a future first-round pick.
As usual, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski broke the story ahead of time. Woj has become a mythical figure for his ability to break *every* NBA story before anyone else. I mean, literally, every story. The “Woj Bomb” is now a trope on NBA Twitter, inspiring clever plays on words and witty tweets that are often structured along the lines of “If a Woj Bomb confirms X rumor, I will perform Y outrageous act!”
The difference this time is that Woj, in the way only Woj could, confirmed the biggest trade since the Thunder traded James Harden to the Rockets more than TWO WEEKS before it can legally happen. In a league in which trades involving superstars in their prime and trades involving number one overall picks are both rare, the rarity of such deals gave pause both to hordes of Cavaliers and Wolves fans.
The Punch-Drunk Podcast has been on hiatus for a while. But now it’s back. With more discussion of Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Kevin Love trades, and the upcoming season.
Wiggins-Bennett 2016. That’s all.
Andrew Wiggins, future Timberwolf?
Bill Simmons posted a doozy on Grantland today right before lunch on the merits of a trade involving Kevin Love to Cleveland for a package centered around this year’s #1 overall pick, Andrew Wiggins.
All of Grantland’s NBA hitters weighed in on Love-Wiggins: Simmons. Sharp. Trillion. netw3rk, Klosterman (does he still work there?).
I was pretty stoked, at least by what-I-read-over-lunch standards. But after I read it, I left the cafeteria pissed off.
Dion Waiters: Eerily reminiscent of J.R. Rider. Future Timberwolf?
Andy G: So, LeBron made another Decision. He’s going home to Cleveland; a decision that many in the media began to expect a few days ago. He wrote a great letter explaining everything, published by Sports Illustrated yesterday.
It did not take long after the announcement for the conversation to turn toward the Timberwolves. Specifically, it was previously reported (by Adrian Woj, no less) that the Cavaliers had been pursuing a trade for Kevin Love that would be contingent on them signing James. So, now that they signed James, everyone is wondering about that Love deal…
The obvious player that the Wolves covet is Andrew Wiggins, the number one pick in the most recent draft. So far, the Cavs are reportedly not willing to part with Wiggins. Instead, they’re only willing to go as far as (something along the lines of) Anthony Bennett (LAST year’s top pick) and maybe Dion Waiters and one more guy to make the salaries match up. Maybe they’d throw in a future draft pick or two.
The Wolves, by all reports to date, will not trade Love for the Bennett-Waiters package. They need Wiggins.
So here we are, waiting for Dan Gilbert (or Flip Saunders) to blink.
Let’s start with the big question:
Do the Wolves end up with Wiggins?
In an offseason without games to report on, every Wolves-related event that might affect the course of the future–whether in a small or large way–gets reported.
One event that might affect the Wolves’ decision of if, when, and where to trade Kevin Love is Love’s recent trip to Boston. Love reportedly went to Boston just to learn more about the place. From Jerry Z’s story:
“I’m here to just check out the city and see what it’s like,” when asked why he was in town.
When a Boston Globe reporter approached him Saturday afternoon at a Boston hotel, Love said, “I’m sorry man, I can’t do nothing, I can’t.” He was referring to his inability or unwillingness to talk publicly about the purpose of his visit.
(Eds. Note: I wonder if K-Love took the Freedom Trail tour that every other citizen-tourist who travels to Boston because he wants to learn more about the place ultimately takes. If so, he could’ve got a lot just from this Lonely Planet vid.)
Given all this, some issues emerge from Kevin Love’s little offseason getaway..
Patrick J: There has been a lot happening around the Wolves over the past week. First, we got word that Kevin Love was likely going to use his early-termination option to explore free agency after the 2014-15 season.
At the same time, there were murmurs that the Wolves were looking closely at former Timberwolves player and Raptors coach Sam Mitchell as Rick Adelman’s replacement as Twolves head coach.
When we last wrote, both of these stories had an air of uncertainty around it. Woj had broken the Love story in one of his “should-I-really-believe-this” megaexclusives. And the Mitchell news crept upon us out of nowhere and felt like a shock to the system.
Since then, the Kevin Love news has only gotten more play, while the Sam Mitchell rumor quickly went away (Eds. Note: There has been some speculation that Mitchell could end up as an assistant on Joeger’s staff) –replaced by the rumor that current Grizzlies coach and Minnesota native Dave Joerger will be the one who succeeds Adelman on the Wolves sideline.
The Inbox below is a list of scenarios that do not seem implausible ways in which the Wolves could decide to go with whatever type of “rebuilding” strategy they will have to do, assuming that Love is traded and Joerger is hired.
Continue reading below the fold to see how we rate them… Continue reading
So, this week we learned that Kevin Love has given the Wolves’ leadership notice that he intends to exercise the early-termination option in his contract after next season and become an unrestricted free agent.
It was Adrian Wojnarowski who reported it, so take the story for what it’s worth.
COINCIDENTALLY (?), word leaked that Sam Mitchell is a strong candidate for the Wolves coaching job.
If, like most Wolves fans, you felt as though you’d been double-tapped after reading those news items, continue reading below. Continue reading