CLEVELAND — The next step in the Cavaliers’ busy offseason appears to be the signing of rookie swingman Andrew Wiggins.
The No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft is expected to ink a multi-year contract with Cleveland this week, according to a Sunday report by ESPN. The first season of the pact will pay Wiggins $5.5 million, which is the maximum permitted under the league’s collective bargaining agreement.
Once Wiggins officially signs his contract, the Cavaliers will not be able to trade him for 30 days under NBA rules. They can, however, continue to talk with teams about dealing the Kansas star — possibly to the Timberwolves as part of a package for All-Star power forward Kevin Love.
Despite stories in USA Today and the News-Herald that Cleveland general manager David Griffin told Minnesota he would consider trading Wiggins, there is no firm evidence that such a conversation has occurred.
Because of the NBA’s complex salary cap restrictions, it has benefited the Cavaliers to hold off in signing Wiggins. They also have yet to file the paperwork that will add small forward Mike Miller and shooting guard James Jones to their roster.
Cleveland is roughly $1.5 million under the cap, which Griffin hopes to spend before finalizing the aforementioned three contracts that will push it well over the $63.065 million team threshold.
Miller, in fact, cannot be signed until the Cavaliers are over the cap as they are using their $2.7 million per season exception to add him. It only applies to franchises that have salary cap room entering an offseason, but subsequently use all of it.
Jones will receive a veteran’s minimum contract, the value of which is based on how many years a player has spent in the NBA.
The same scenario would apply to shooting guard Ray Allen, who is weighing a one-year offer from Cleveland against retirement. It is widely expected that the 39-year-old free agent will join ex-Heat teammate LeBron James with the Cavaliers once he returns from a trip to China.
Contact Brian Dulik at firstname.lastname@example.org.