The Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers completed a delayed blockbuster trade Saturday that’s been talked about for months and on hold for 30 days. Love, arguably the game’s best power forward, is headed from Minnesota to Cleveland, where he will join James and instantly make the Cavs NBA title favorites.
The 76ers get a 2015 first-round draft choice from Cleveland, and guard Alexey Shved and forward Luc Mbah a Moute from Minnesota.
It’s official now, and Cleveland, which hasn’t had a major pro sports championship since 1964, is poised to make a run at ending the drought.
“Welcome to the Land @kevinlove!” the four-time league MVP posted on his Twitter account.
The Cavs and Timberwolves have been discussing a trade involving for Love for months, long before James decided to leave Miami and come back home to Ohio. The deal dragged on through the summer, first because of Cleveland’s unwillingness to include Wiggins in any package, and then due to the 30-day provision.
That bit of fine print in the collective bargaining agreement triggered an agonizing wait in both cities, more so in championship-starved Cleveland where generations of fans have longed for the Cavs, Indians or Browns to win it all.
Now the league’s best player has another superstar as a running mate. Add in All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving and James again finds himself the ringleader of a star-studded trio after leaving Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade behind with the Heat.
“Kevin joining the Cavaliers represents a very special and unique opportunity for our team,” Cavs general manager David Griffin said in a release. “At only 25, Kevin has already firmly established himself as one the NBA’s elite players and his talent, versatility and fit are major parts of our team’s vision for success.”
“I’m going to be very excited to have him,” James said at his recent homecoming event in Akron, Ohio. “I don’t really care about the 26 (points) and 12 (rebounds). I care about the basketball IQ. His basketball IQ is very, very high. He’s a great piece.”