Cavs Nation’s Matt Thomas
The Cavs and Wolves made a blockbuster deal this summer, as I’m sure you’re all aware. The Cavs received 3-time All-Star Kevin Love, in exchange for the past two #1 overall picks, Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins, and Miami Heat’s first round pick.
The deal was heavily speculated, but seems to have worked heavily in the Cavs favor. Cleveland take on Minnesota for the first time tonight since the deal was made, David Blatt’s squad boasting a 16-10 record, while Flip Saunders squad in Minnesota hold one of the league’s worst, and Western Conference worst 5-21.
Wiggins and Bennett return for their first game in Wolves uniform at the Q tonight, Cavs Nation breaks down why giving up two very talented young players was the right move in acquiring Kevin Love into 5 main reasons.
Start with reason #1 on the next page!
#1 Kevin Love Has More Than Desire To Win, He Has Desperation
Many see the fact that Kevin Love never made the playoffs in his 6 year stint with the Wolves as bad thing, I see it as a positive. First off, competing in the Western Conference with your second scoring option being Ricky Rubio is tough, or laughable, whichever word you fancy.
6 years of losing for Love has to spark a desperate want to win, the same desperate want that his fellow Cavaliers share. In Kyrie and Thompson’s three years and Dion Waiters two years in Cleveland, the playoffs have only been a far away dream. Four key components to this Cleveland team have never played in meaningful games late in the season, but that’s about to change.
With Kevin Love in the house, standing alongside proven NBA champions LeBron James, Mike Miller, James Jones and Shawn Marion, the NBA will be on notice in May. This team will be desperate to prove themselves, and begin the NBA’s next dynasty.
Continue to reason #2 on the next page!
#2 Love Makes Cleveland’s Offense Nearly Unstoppable
The only way that NBA coaches have been able to keep LeBron James in check is double teaming him and forcing him to make his teammates make plays. That was part of the reason he skipped town in the first place, his teammates in his last playoff push in Cleveland simply weren’t capable of being the best in the NBA.
In Miami teams still double-teamed LeBron, and he went to four consecutive NBA Finals’, winning two. Now back in Cleveland, standing next to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, teams would be unwise to double-team anyone on the offensive end for Cleveland. Love provides Cleveland with such a huge advantage, keeping multiple defenders off of his fellow superstars.
Love is basically Chris Bosh if Chris Bosh had a better post game and was a great offensive rebounder. This is a very scary proposition for the rest of the NBA, and that’s even before you get to Kyrie Irving. Cleveland are second in the league to the GSW in first quarter scoring average, putting up 28.2 points to start the game every night.
Continue to reason #3 on the next page!
#3 Wiggins’ slow progression
The 2013/14 season was known for the ‘Battle of Wiggins’ for the NBA’s bottom feeders last season. Wiggins was the undoubted #1 pick going into the draft all season, especially after a Joel Embiid injury. Wiggins every move seemed to make an appearance on ESPN every night, seeing as he was supposed to be the face of whichever franchise he was drafted too. Not many people saw a Wiggins led team starting 5-21 a third of the way into his rookie season. Nevertheless, the kid’s got potential, but the Cavs just weren’t ready to wait.
Sure, if Wiggins had stayed in Cleveland this probably wouldn’t be the case, but it’s not so much the record, but an improvement in his overall game. Cavs fans will see tonight the raw athleticism that this kid has, and will be in awe, but athleticism was never going to win Cleveland a title.
So far this season, Wiggins is averaging 12.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 1.4 apg. Love is averaging 16.8 ppg, 10.5 rpg and 2.4 apg. Although numbers don’t mean everything in the NBA, this tells me that Love provides the Cavs a better option to win every night, and eventually be a part of the push for the NBA’s holy grail, the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Continue to reason #4 on the next page!
#4 Love Is The Better fit
Kevin Love provides something that both Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins were never going to be able provide in Cleveland, floor spacing. Kevin Love may be the league’s very best compliment to Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. Sure, he doesn’t exactly provide the same highlight baseline dunks and alley-oops that Wiggins would have provided ESPN with, but is a much better fundamental fit.
Love stretches the floor, extending his range to “deep in the Q”, giving LeBron, Waiters and Kyrie more room to work with in the paint. If Love’s long range touch is off on any given night though, he is also a great low post scorer, and can do so in may ways.
Lets say the Cavs never made the trade, and Wiggins started at the 2 guard for Cleveland, meaning TT would be the starting power forward. TT is at his best scrapping for rebounds, and putting the ball back in the bucket after missed shots. That means Thompson needs the paint to be productive, taking more operating room away from Cleveland’s superstars. While Wiggins shooting touch has improved out of sight since he first suited up for Kansas, he’s not Kevin Love from the outside.
Kevin Love gives Cleveland’s stars much more room to work with, and is such a highly touted scorer that he demands a defender be guarding him at all times. Meaning less double-teams on his team mates, and when double teams happen, he is almost a sure fire option to make the defense pay for their decision.
Continue to reason #5 on the next page!
#5 The Need To Win Now
The heavily touted Andrew Wiggins is a superstar in the making, some say he will be good enough to be the face of a franchise in years to come. With LeBron James turning 30 on December 30, Anderson Varejao at 32 years of age, Mike Miller at 34 and Shawn Marion at 36, the Cavs didn’t have the 2-5 years it is going to take for Wiggins to blossom into the league’s next superstar.
At 26 years of age, Kevin Love still has a lot of learning and improving to do. He also provides a much better chance to win now, with LeBron still in his prime. A perfect balance seems to be there in age with LeBron at a near 30, Love at 26 and Kyrie at 22 years of age. Our Big 3 will challenge eachother at practice, while the future of our ball club is still in great hands with Kyrie and Love going into the future.