Cleveland Cavaliers Rumors: Two Ways to Land All-Star Kevin Love if LeBron James Signs

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Updated: July 9, 2014

While the entire city is waiting for LeBron James to emerge from his meeting with Pat Riley and the Miami Heat, rumors are starting to spark back up in regard to the Cleveland Cavaliers pursuit of Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, “Cavaliers are pursuing a Kevin Love trade with Minnesota, contingent on the signing of LeBron James, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.”

Could LeBron and Love team up in Cleveland?

Could LeBron and Love team up in Cleveland?

A potential Love deal has been rumored for weeks, but with the opportunity to land James looking more and more realistic, fans have been visualizing potential deals. With most anticipating No. 1 overall selection, Andrew Wiggins, as the centerpiece of the deal, there have been a number of people reluctant to commit to wanting to make this trade without Love signing a new deal with the team.

Don’t get me wrong, Wiggins has the potential to be a very, very good player at the NBA level for a long time. But at just 19-years old, nobody should be upset with trading for a 25-year old All-Star in the prime of his career—even if it costs you a player many think is going to be the center of an NBA franchise for a long time coming.

Trade: Cavs Clear Cap by Moving Jack

But for arguments sake, I have decided to come up with two different trade options in order to land Love. This is not saying Minnesota ultimately would decide on one of these two deals, but these are pretty much the best the Cavaliers can offer the Timberwolves at this time to try and get them to send Love to Cleveland.

Andrew Wiggins is a nice addition, but could be moved for Kevin Love.

Andrew Wiggins is a nice addition, but could be moved for Kevin Love.

Deal 1: The Wiggins Centered Deal

Cavs Receive:

Kevin Love ($15.7 million in 2014-2015)

Minnesota Receives:

Andrew Wiggins ($4.5 million projected in 2014-2015)
Anderson Varejao ($9.8 million in 2014-2015)
Miami Heat 2015 1st Round Pick
Memphis Grizzlies 1st Round Pick

Many people expect Varejao to remain in Cleveland because of James, but he has to be at the center of any deal for Love in order to make the salaries work—unless there is a third team involved in the deal. With a partially guaranteed contract, Minnesota would likely cut Varejao to save $5.8 million this season—thus opening up his return to Cleveland in free agency.

Deal 2: Minnesota Hits the “Lottery”

Cavs Receive:

Kevin Love ($15.7 million in 2014-2015)
Kevin Martin ($6.7 million in 2014-2015)

Minnesota Receives:

Dion Waiters ($4 million in 2014-2015)
Anthony Bennett ($5.5 million in 2014-2015)
Anderson Varejao ($9.8 million in 2014-2015)
Scotty Hopson ($1.45 million in 2014-2015)
Carrick Felix ($816,482 in 2014-2015)
Miami 1st Round Pick in 2015
Memphis 1st Round Pick in 2015

In a pure salary dump of proportions for Minnesota, they move both Love and the next three years of Martin’s contract. Minnesota acquires two young guys in Bennett and Waiters they could keep, and contracts they could instantly cut in Varejao and Hopson. Cutting those two would save them roughly $7.2 million this season and open up plenty of future cap space for the team.

Are Either Deals Realistic?

It is tough to imagine the Cavaliers being able to offer a better package than the Golden State Warriors, but the Miami and Memphis picks could be gold as early as next season thanks to their protections. If the Heat and Grizzlies take a step back, Minnesota could be in for as many as three lottery selections in what is expected to be a very good draft yet again next year.

On top of the picks, landing Wiggins would give them the franchise centerpiece to replace Love. If the Cavaliers do not part with Wiggins, Waiters gives them a dynamic combo guard with a scoring mentality (different than Ricky Rubio) and the possibility that Bennett could turn into something without any pressure on him.

Along with all of the young players and picks, the Cavaliers can offer immediate cap relief for Minnesota as well. According to various salary cap sites, they are looking at being over the cap heading into the 2014-2015 season. Moving Love and Martin and taking back contracts that can be cut would not only open up salary cap this season, but for next season as well.

At the end of the day this is all speculation until LeBron signs on the dotted line. But if the Cavaliers can pull off a coup of James and Love to combine with Kyrie Irving, Cleveland is officially back on the map.

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