CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired forward Kevin Love in a three-team trade that sends guard Andrew Wiggins and forward Anthony Bennett to Minnesota and a protected 2015 first round pick (via Miami) to Philadelphia, GM David Griffin announced Saturday. As part of the three-team trade, Minnesota will also acquire forward Thaddeus Young from the 76ers, while Philadelphia receives forward Luc Mbah a Moute and guard Alexey Shved from the Timberwolves.
"Kevin joining the Cavaliers represents a very special and unique opportunity for our team. 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," said Griffin. "We want to also wish Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett the best as they will continue the start of their careers in Minnesota. They are both outstanding young men that have great potential on the court and long, very successful careers ahead of them."
Voted as a starter for the Western Conference in the 2014 NBA All-Star Game, Love appeared in 77 games (all starts) for Minnesota last season and averaged a career-high 26.1 points on .457 shooting, including .376 from beyond the arc and .821 from the foul line, 12.5 rebounds and a career-high 4.4 assists in 36.3 minutes per game. Among NBA leaders, the 6-10, 243-pound forward ranked first in double-doubles (65), first in defensive rebounds per game (9.6), third in total rebounds per game (12.5), fourth in points per game (26.1), tied for fourth in triple-doubles (3) and tied for eighth in three-pointers made (190). In 2013-14, Love became the first player in NBA history to record 2,000 points, 900 rebounds and 100 three-pointers in a single season, while also setting Minnesota’s franchise record for three-pointers made in a season, points per game, and free throws made (520) and attempted (633).
Love is the first player to average 26/12/4 over a full season since the NBA/ABA merger as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bob McAdoo had most recently accomplished that feat in 1975-76. He also scored in double figures in all 77 games last season, which includes 57 games with at least 20 points, a Wolves’ franchise record 25 30-point games and six 40-point performances. He collected a league-leading 24 contests with at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, and possessed the third highest PER in the NBA at 26.97, behind only Kevin Durant (29.90) and LeBron James (29.40).
Over his six-year NBA career, Love has played in 364 games (282 starts) for the Timberwolves and owns career averages of 19.2 points, 12.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 36.3 minutes per game. He is a three-time NBA All-Star (2011, 2012, 2014), two-time All-NBA Second Team selection (2012, 2014), Olympic gold medalist (2012) and winner of the league’s Most Improved Player award (2011) and Three-Point Shootout (2012). The UCLA product was selected to the All-Rookie Second Team in 2009 after being the 5th overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies. He has averaged at least 14 points and 11 rebounds in five of his six NBA seasons and since entering the league, his 12.2 rebounds per game is the second-highest in the NBA (Dwight Howard, 13.3). Since 1980-81, Love is one of only three players to have at least two seasons with 26.0 points and 12.5 rebounds (2011-12, 2013-14), joining Shaquille O’Neal (4) and Moses Malone (2). Love will wear #0 with the Cavs.
Wiggins was the first overall pick by the Cavaliers in this year’s NBA Draft. An early entry candidate from Kansas University, Wiggins, 19, was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year and First-Team All-League in his only year at Kansas. In 35 contests with the Jayhawks last year, the 6-8, 194-pound guard averaged 17.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.0 block in 32.8 minutes per game. In four games during the 2014 NBA Summer League, Wiggins averaged 15.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.5 blocks in 29.9 minutes per game.
Bennett was the Cavs’ No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, appearing in 52 games and averaging 4.2 points and 3.0 rebounds in 12.8 minutes per game in 2013-14. The 6-8, 243-pound forward out of UNLV also played in four contests for the Cavs’ summer league team with averages of 13.3 points and 7.8 rebounds in 29.8 minutes per game.
The Cavs will send Philadelphia a protected first round pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. The pick was originally acquired from the Miami Heat and is pick 1-10 protected in 2015 and 2016. The pick becomes unprotected in 2017.