The long-awaited Kevin Love deal is expected to be officially announced today, after the three teams involved complete a trade call with the NBA office.
The deal will bring the 6-foot-10, 260-pound Love, who averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists for Minnesota last season, to the Cavaliers, who will start him alongside four-time league MVP LeBron James, fellow All-Star Kyrie Irving and probably Anderson Varejao and Dion Waiters to immediately become the favorite to win the 2015 NBA Finals.
Cleveland will trade Andrew Wiggins, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, and Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 overall pick in 2013, to the Timberwolves.
Minnesota will also get forward Thaddeus Young from Philadelphia and a trade exception worth approximately $5 million, which the Timberwolves can use to acquire a player for a year without being strapped by the salary cap.
The 76ers will receive Miami’s 2015 first-round pick, which is top-10 protected for the Heat, from the Cavs (through the Timberwolves), as well as the expiring contracts of Minnesota’s Luc Mbah a Moute and Alexey Shved.
The deal couldn’t be finalized until today because the Cavs had to wait 30 days to trade Wiggins after signing him to his rookie contract.
The trade to bring Love to Cleveland had been agreed upon for several weeks, but there ended up being a few minor changes along the way.
Originally, it was thought the Cavs would send Wiggins, Bennett and Miami’s first-round pick to Minnesota for Love, who has said he will opt out of his contract at the end of the 2014-15 season but wants to re-sign a maximum deal (five years, $120 million) with Cleveland.
There were also reports the Timberwolves would send Bennett to Philadelphia as part of a trade for Young, a 17.9-point scorer last season for the lowly 76ers, but both players will now stay in Minnesota.
The Cavs, meanwhile, turned a 1.7 percent chance of winning the draft lottery into Wiggins, who they packaged with Bennett and Miami’s pick to land three-time All-Star Love.
There has been no announcement when the 25-year-old Love will be officially introduced as a Cav. He will join James, Mike Miller and James Jones as veteran offseason additions, with Shawn Marion also expected to sign with Cleveland in the near future.
The Cavs, who haven’t made the playoffs since James left for Miami in 2010, could add 39-year-old shooting guard Ray Allen as well.
According to reports, the Timberwolves are expected to hold a news conference to announce the acquisitions of Bennett and Young on Tuesday.