Apr 4, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) is pressured by Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) during the second half at American Airlines Arena. The Minnesota Timberwolves won in 2 overtimes 122-121. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Love going to Cleveland via an NBA trade sounds like a no-brainer. So what are the pros and cons of the deal happening?
Pro: Timberwolves get a potential franchise player in Andrew Wiggins
If the Minnesota Timberwolves were looking for a long-term solution to the Love problem, they can’t do much better than what the Cavaliers are throwing in. Andrew Wiggins is the 1st overall pick of the 2014 NBA draft. His athletic ceiling is through the roof and there is no question he has the capacity to develop into a franchise player a team could build around. There is work to do on his game, but the odds are in the T-wolves favor if they pull the trigger.
Pro: LeBron James gets his second front court star like Chris Bosh
Part of what made his stay with the Miami Heat so successful was that LeBron James had a consistent presence in the front court with him in Chris Bosh. The four years they were together, Bosh averaged between 16 and 18 points per game with six to eight rebounds. by getting Kevin Love, who averaged 26 points and 12 rebounds last season, James actually may get an upgrade offensively over what he had in Bosh.
Con: Minnesota will not compete right away with Wiggins
It was felt throughout the early stages of the Love NBA trade rumors that Minnesota was looking for a deal that would keep them competitive in the playoff picture. That would explain their heavy interest in Golden State sharpshooter Klay Thompson. By switching to this deal with Cleveland for Andrew Wiggins, they almost assuredly would forfeit any idea of postseason play for this coming season, especially in that tough Western Conference. It would be a tough pill to swallow.
Con: Love could leave Cleveland vulnerable defensively
While a potential Kevin Love pairing with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving would create all sorts of offensive mismatches. At the same time, it wouldn’t solve Cleveland’s continuing problems with interior defense and rim protection. For all the great things Love can do on the offensive end, his ability to stop people in the paint and guard against the pick-and-roll are not at the same level of James’ former teammate Chris Bosh. It was one of the reasons the Heat big man was so underappreciated. As the saying goes, defense wins championships. The Miami team LeBron left ranked 9th in 2013 and were ousted in five games by San Antonio. The Cleveland team he joins ranked 19th, and doesn’t figure to improve much with the addition of Love.