Well, we just got the fabulous Wojnarowski dropping another “WojBomb” on us today and CavsTwitter and the local media picked up on the information big time. As time has passed, reporters continue to pump their sources for additional tidbits about the most dramatic possible trade of this NBA off-season. It has been my experience that Wojnarowski has some of the most reliable “league sources” so I do tend to listen when he comes out with information that sounds plausible. Some of what he provided in his article and on twitter makes perfect sense. Other bits and pieces (the most important ones for me) are less reliable in my view.
Here is some more detailed information that makes perfect sense to me:
In Kevin Love deal, Cavs likely to send Wolves the 2015 protected first-rounder it owns via Miami, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
In that article he explains the deal in even more detail by reporting that the Cavs first round pick going to the Wolves is the protected first round pick in 2015 belonging to the Cavs via the Miami Heat. Aside from being somewhat ironic because it is the Heat pick, it is also much less valuable than the Memphis first round pick still owed the Cavs. It is more valuable than the Cavs own first round pick now, but they are not allowed to trade that pick because of the infamous “Stepien rule” caused by previous Cavs ownership. They have already traded their 2016 first round pick so cannot trade the 2015 or 2017 picks.
This information is useful to Cavs fans interested in the nuances of this major trade. It is equally as useful that Woj pointed out that this trade is only between the Cavs and the Wolves. That the other two often reported assets (Wiggins and Bennett) and the Miami protected first round pick is the total deal without a bunch of extra noise that could actually be a detriment to the Cavs.
If true, since the Cavs are already historically overpaying for a one year rental of Love, I am glad to hear we don’t need to give up even more than has been previously reported. And glad to hear Cleveland is giving up the least valuable first round pick they can give.
Although that much makes me as happy as I can be giving up two #1/1 picks and another lower first round pick for a rental, it is this tweet that I take with great skepticism:
Sources: Cavs have agreement for Kevin Love, including long-term contract commitment. Wiggins, Bennett, pick to Minn. http://yhoo.it/XHoSQg
Now that sounds like music to my ears and almost makes me want to jump to the basket rim (if I still could)…. However, as pointed out by Terry Pluto and others, it is not legally possible to give Cleveland a long term contract commitment under current NBA league rules either in writing or with a handshake. He can only sign a full five year “Bird Rule” contract if he waits until he becomes a free agent after renouncing his player option for next year. Plus, I don’t think his 5 year contract then would total the $120 million reported in the article, but given how the salary cap increases are estimated, it might approach that number. Finally, I think it was reported that he would agree to sign that as early as January of 2015. I just don’t think that is possible within the rules. I would be happy to be corrected on this point because a commitment by January would be awesome.
So again, other than the information about “no three team trade” and which first round pick we would give up, I don’t find anything more comforting in this article or the tweets. I guess if I were to try to find the bright side of this there seems to be a slow groundswell of information implying that Kevin Love is looking favorably on the idea of signing a longer term contract with the Cavs. But my percentages of this happening would go much higher once I hear some clear statements from Love explaining his state of mind regarding the possibility of resigning with Cleveland. If I hear the code phrases like “I want to explore my free agent options” or “I look forward to the opportunity provided by free agency”, I will be saying “We’re screwed” until proven otherwise and he actually signs. Statements like “I look forward to staying with Cleveland long term” or “my intention now that I am here is to stay long term” would be fine unless they are wrapped around the other code phrases mentioned in the prior sentence. If so, in my view that is just like all the other athletes that have left. They are telling us that they would “like” to stay but they might not “decide” to stay. Those are two very different things.
So, while I WANT to believe the “long term commitment” part of Wojnarowski’s article, my logic is not going to let me enjoy it. I know that I am being a real pain about all of this but I am trying to keep it real. I will certainly stay on top of this as more details come out and I hope to gain the optimism and joy that would come from the prospects of Love, Kyrie, LeBron and Dion together for many years.
So, to leave on a positive note, I hope the Cavs can close the Marion deal as soon as possible. He would be an absolutely perfect fit with what we are trying to do. He adds championship experience, good defense, and just enough offense to be helpful. It is hard to argue that David Griffin is amassing a team that will be so fun to watch and so hard to criticize. Once the Love deal finalizes, I will be just as excited as everyone else at the prospects of a special year in Cleveland Cavalier history!!!