The Kevin Love saga is nearing its merciful conclusion.
The Cavs will send rookie Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a protected 2015 first-round draft pick to Minny in exchange for Love.
Cleveland is making the deal with Minnesota with a firm agreement Love will opt out of his contract in 2015 and re-sign with the Cavaliers on a five-year, $120 million-plus contract extension, league sources said.
The deal cannot be finalized until Aug. 23, because Wiggins, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, cannot be traded until one month after the signing of his rookie contract. The two teams have agreed to the deal, but neither would have recourse if the other decided to pull out of the arrangement before it can be formally completed this month. No third team is involved in the Cavaliers-Timberwolves trade agreement.
Part of the Cavaliers’ motivation in making the deal for Love was a belief Love would have ended up with the rival Chicago Bulls in a trade and created a significant obstacle in the Eastern Conference, sources said. Cleveland wouldn’t have had the salary-cap space to sign Love next summer and could have only obtained him through the trade with Minnesota in a deal now.
Minnesota reportedly still hopes to get rid of J.J. Barea, Luc Mbah a Moute and Alexey Shved.
The LeBron James-Kyrie Irving-Kevin Love trio likely makes Cleveland the favorite to win the 2015 NBA title, and inarguably the most intriguing squad in the L.
Love, 25, averaged 26 points and 12.5 rebounds for the Timberwolves last season. His run in Minnesota ends after six seasons and three All-Star appearances.