Today is the eleventh day of Waiting for Wiggins, and if Adam Silver is paying any attention at all to this ongoing storyline, it should be the last one.
The commish, who already showed off his executive-power chops in dealing with Donald Sterling, should allow an exception to the “30 Days” rule that is holding up the Andrew Wiggins-for-Kevin Love trade. The only reason to passively enforce the rule, as he has been doing, is that creating exceptions to collectively bargained rules creates a precedent. On more important matters — ones that the players association care about — that is a big problem.
But here’s the thing about this Wiggins deal:
I don’t think there is a single person who would object to allowing an exception. Certainly the Timberwolves and Cavaliers organizations would welcome a waiver. The players involved — Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins, probably Anthony Bennett, and possibly a few others — would, too. They would like to know where they will be playing, next year. Other teams and owners shouldn’t care. Not very much, at least.
Also, what is the point of the rule in the first place? To prevent end-arounds the “Stepien Rule,” that prohibits trading away first-round draft picks in consecutive seasons? If so, then why limit the waiting period to just 30 days? 30 days does not prevent a trade like this one; it just deters it and makes the entire process uncomfortable for the players. But when the teams are determined to make the deal — as Cleveland and Minnesota seem to be — it just makes for a very awkward month; one that includes Rookie Photoshoots where the number one overall draft pick is forced to wear a jersey that he will never actually don in a real game. And everybody knows it.
Did you see Wiggins on SportsCenter yesterday? It was one of the more awkward interviews you’ll see. He looks a little depressed about the whole thing. LeBron hasn’t even called him. It’s like he doesn’t have a team, because the one he is actually going to play for cannot even contact him without flagrantly violating the tampering rules. (Well, except for other Timberwolves rookies. Wiggins and Zach LaVine seem to be developing a friendship. Yesterday, that included an informal dunk contest that ended up on the internet.)
And what about Kevin Love? He cannot play in the World Cup for fear of an injury. Paul George just sustained a devastating leg fracture during a Team USA scrimmage. If Love were to get badly hurt in this 30-day window, the Cavs trade would fall through.
I’m sure they’ll just wait it out and make the trade on August 23 or 24. Glen Taylor said as much to the Pioneer Press.
But after watching that Wiggins interview on SportsCenter, it just set in how ridiculous all of this is. If Commissioner Silver is paying attention, he should step in and contact the Cavs and Timberwolves. If each expresses a desire to execute an Andrew Wiggins trade, he should allow it to go through immediately. Stop the silliness, so that one of the league’s bright future stars can be a part of a team already.