While the Cleveland Cavaliers may be open to at least allowing the name of Andrew Wiggins to be mentioned in trade talks with the Minnesota Timberwolves, nothing on the Cavs’ end has changed.
They are still very determined to keep Wiggins for a long time, multiple sources told FOX Sports Ohio on Thursday.
Several sources familiar with the talks strongly refuted reports Wiggins is being made available.
Wiggins was the No. 1 overall pick in the June draft. His name has come up frequently as someone the Timberwolves would want in return for star power forward Kevin Love.
Wiggins is one thing, but when the Timberwolves start talking Wiggins, Tristan Thompson and multiple first-round picks for Love … well, the discussion doesn’t get very far.
So the bottom line is the Cavs and Timberwolves do not have a deal, and from the sounds of things, aren’t even close.
Talks between the teams were ongoing Thursday evening, sources said.
But the Cavs aren’t taking a potential trade of this magnitude lightly. They believe Wiggins has tremendous upside, and at 6-foot-8 with great athleticism, he can step in and provide defense on the wing immediately while he develops.
Plus, even as remarkable as Love is, the Cavs have to consider the fact that adding him to the roster completely changes the complexion of the team. It could change in a good way, of course, but chemistry and continuity often count for a lot in this league.
Love is 6-foot-10 and averaged 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds last season. He is entering his seventh year.
He has indicated he will not sign a contract extension with the Timberwolves at the end of 2014-15, making him a free agent and putting the T-Wolves at risk of losing him for nothing. While the Cavs believe LeBron James returning to the team increases the odds to sign Love, there have been no official assurances from anyone. It is too soon for those.
On top of not wanting to trade Wiggins (or Dion Waiters, for that matter), the Cavs have other things to consider with Love.
Star point guard Kyrie Irving has already agreed to a contract extension — and James’ contract, of which he can opt out next summer, will certainly be huge moving forward.
So the Cavs will almost certainly face salary-cap ramifications if Love is acquired, as the deals of Irving, James and a player like Love would be a massive undertaking. In that scenario, the Cavs would own three maximum contracts and financial penalties would likely follow.
The alternative would be to hold on to younger players like Wiggins, Waiters and Anthony Bennett — all of whom are on cheaper rookie deals, which would not only help the Cavs stay under the salary cap, but allow them to maintain depth on the roster.
These are all things the Cavs are believed to be considering as talks continue.
— Both Wiggins and Bennett will play for the Cavs’ summer-league team on Thursday night in Las Vegas.
— After signing a pair of free-agent perimeter shooters in Mike Miller and James Jones, the Cavs are still interested in Ray Allen. The 39-year-old shooting guard is contemplating retirement, but has said he’s open to playing with LeBron again if he returns. The two were teammates each of the past two years with the Miami Heat.
— The Cavs are hoping to know what Allen decides by tomorrow or the end of the weekend at the latest, sources said.
— It is believed that free-agent center Greg Oden has spoken with James, or the Cavs, or possibly both. The Cavs are said to have an interest in the former No. 1 overall draft pick (2007), but it is not known if they have contacted him or plan to at any time.