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Originally published July 17, 2014 at 02:56p.m., updated July 18, 2014 at 12:00a.m.

Cleveland continues Kevin Love chase, reignites Andrew Wiggins rumors

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt, left to right, Andrew Wiggins and general manager David Griffin hold up Wiggins jersey during a new conference Friday, June 27, 2014, in Independence, Ohio.

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt, left to right, Andrew Wiggins and general manager David Griffin hold up Wiggins jersey during a new conference Friday, June 27, 2014, in Independence, Ohio.

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Andrew Wiggins better wait a bit before buying or renting a condo in Cleveland.

Several Cavaliers beat writers — as well as ESPN — reported Thursday that the Cavs are now willing to trade former Kansas University wing Wiggins to the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of a package for three-time All-Star forward Kevin Love.

Prospects of the deal became more likely on Thursday night when Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported that future Hall of Famer James “has reached out to tell Kevin Love of his desire for them to play together with the Cavaliers.”

Curiously, just days ago, Cleveland coach David Blatt said Wiggins, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, wouldn’t be traded away in a deal to acquire Love.

“There’s no reason for worry on (Wiggins’) part because Andrew’s not going anywhere as far as I know,” Blatt said.

ESPN sources said Love, who will be a free agent after the upcoming season, would sign a long-term contract with Cleveland to play alongside James.

Some say the Cavs will do whatever James wants in pursuit of Love, considering James is playing on a two-year contract that includes an out clause after the 2014-15 season. However, in one dissenting opinion, Fox Sports Ohio wrote late Thursday that, “Several sources familiar with the talks strongly refuted reports Wiggins is being made available.” The Associated Press reported a similar stance.

Wiggins, who averaged 13.7 points off 37.8 shooting in the Cavs’ first three games of the Las Vegas Summer League, on Thursday scored 21 points off 3-of-5 shooting (15-of-20 from the line) in a 96-90 loss to former KU teammate Tarik Black’s Houston Rockets.

Wiggins grabbed five rebounds, had four turnovers, one block and no assists in 31 minutes.

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Andrew Wiggins skies in for the chase-down block

Black scored five points and grabbed two rebounds for the Rockets. He went 2-for-2 from the field and hit his only free-throw attempt. He also had a steal, a block and assist in 21 minutes.

After the game, Black tweeted: “Felt great playing against lil bro (Wiggins). He’s looking good out there and talking a little trash too. Gotta back it up.”

There’s a possibility Black, who has played well in both Vegas and also the Orlando Summer League, will gain an invitation to the Rockets’ preseason camp.

“I’m just trying to have fun with the whole process. I’m not trying to wrap my head around who I have to prove wrong (for not drafting him) and who I have to prove right,” free agent Black said in an interview with Big 12 Digital Network. “If I have fun ... if I go out there and play hard, I get good results. It’s been proven in the past with my game.

“It’s a whole next level from the coaching staff to the players I’ve met,” Black added. “They’ve been schooling me on how to calm down and go out and have fun playing the game, to be in a comfort zone and play at your own pace. I’ve been picking up on a lot of different things, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

Asked how college prepared him for the NBA, Black said: “I was very blessed to go to two top-notch programs (KU one year; Memphis three years) and night in and out play in front of the great fans. Even to go on the road and play against some interesting crowds ... it definitely prepared me for situations like this, coming out in front of people and performing, keeping your mind in the right place and being in a comfort level when on the floor.”

McLemore goes for 22: Former KU guard Ben McLemore scored 22 points off 7-of-11 shooting in Sacramento’s 100-86 victory over Minnesota on Thursday in Vegas summer-league action. McLemore hit two of four threes and also grabbed six rebounds with four assists and three turnovers in 31 minutes. First-round draft pick Nik Stauskas of Michigan scored four points off 1-of-3 shooting in 24 minutes for the Kings.

“I like Nik. He’s a great player and great kid,” McLemore told Sacramento News 10 ABC.

The Kings are experimenting playing both shooting guards at the same time.

“He can put the ball on the floor. He can move it as well. We are learning to play together,” McLemore said. “We’re working to build that chemistry together and that momentum.”

McLemore continues to work on his shot. “One dribble pull-up, things like that to get my shot consistent,” he said.

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Ben McLemore summer league highlights (7-17-14)

Robinson may need surgery: Former KU forward Thomas Robinson of the Portland Trail Blazers will seek a second opinion on his right thumb, which has a ligament tear, Comcast Sports Net Northwest reported Thursday. Robinson, 23, would be sidelined six weeks if he needs surgery, reporter Chris Haynes indicated.

Robinson, who averaged 13.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.3 steals in three summer games, sustained the injury in Tuesday’s victory over Atlanta when he attempted to break his fall in the second half.

“I’m in good spirits, man,” Robinson told CSNNW.com Thursday. “I’ll be back in no time. I’m good.”

Newman update: Malik Newman, a 6-3 senior shooting guard from Callaway High in Jackson, Mississippi, who has been sidelined due to an injury, tells Zagsblog.com that KU, UConn, Kentucky, North Carolina State and Miami are recruiting both Newman and Diamond Stone (6-10, Milwaukee Dominican High) as a package deal.

“He (Stone) is a great player. He’s a great person,” Newman told Zagsblog. “I’d love to play with him in college because he’s a dominant post player. That’s something I’ve always wanted to play with because I figure that if he can get the post going, that can help me out because that can really spread the floor.”

Stone, who recently visited UConn without Newman in attendance, told Zagsblog there’s a “50 percent chance” he and Newman will go to the same school.

KU coach Bill Self, as well as Kentucky’s John Calipari and UConn’s Kevin Ollie, watched the No. 6-rated (by Rivals.com) Stone play Thursday at the Under Armour event in Georgia. No. 2-ranked Newman, who will cut his list to five after the USA Basketball Under 17 training camp that begins July 24 in Colorado Springs, watched Stone from the sidelines Thursday.

Comments

Andy Hess 7 years, 3 months ago

If the Cavs have one brain among them, this won't happen. Then again, they ARE the Cavs.

Eric MacDonald 7 years, 3 months ago

The Cavs should exercise patience. The urgency is on the part of the Timberwolves. They have until February to trade him or lose him to free agency next year and get nothing for him. It is doubtful the Cavs will get to the finals this year anyway with a completely new team. To give two #1 overall first picks and a first round pick next year for Love this year is insanity. Give this group a year to improve and then add Love next year. Count the championship.

Matthew Pyle 7 years, 3 months ago

Come on man. The most overrarted player in NBA? That's absurd. Why does Wiggins "deserve" anything? If he's as good as everyone thinks, he can make his way anywhere... I would love to see Wiggins learn under LeBron, it would absolutely be the best situation for him, but it doesn't look likely. The Cavs would be crazy not to trade an unknown in Wiggins for the known in Love. It's actually a no-brainer if Love will sign an extension.

John Myers 7 years, 3 months ago

Anyone calling LeBron the most overrated player in NBA history pretty much loses all credibility for anything they try to add to the discussion. Are you kidding me?

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 3 months ago

Who's more overrated than LeBron? Take your pick of any of the so called greats who could never win a title.

Victor Kings 7 years, 3 months ago

Patience.. Labron is on the team... oddmen put Cavs at 4-1 shot to take the title this coming year.. Wiggins is a hope .. Love is the sure thing.. and Lebron needs help with proven greatness not hope.. Cavs must trade..

Glen Miller 7 years, 3 months ago

Love can't defend. He's too worried about grabbing a rebound to play defense. Trading away Wiggins would be a bad move in my opinion. Love can't even take his team to the playoffs. You trade away a guy that could be a big time weapon next to LeBron like Pippen was to MJ and then take over when LBJ retires. If LeBron is really forcing this trade then my opinion of him and his basketball IQ really would take a hit. He wants to win now, I get it.... but I dont' think it's a good move.

Jason Welcher 7 years, 3 months ago

Exactly Glenn Miller... People need to know Mr. James runs the Cavs now.

Nathan Scholl 7 years, 3 months ago

This whole saga is getting old. Bottom line is, Wiggins staying in Cleveland would be the best situation for HIM. Apparently, LeBron wants to win right away, not build. Doesn't say much for LeBron's decision making if you ask me, and I agree with the above posts, that Mr. James IS now RUNNING THE TEAM, to whatever conclusion that will take Cleveland. I suppose he wants to be the Mayor. Wiggins going to Minnesota would be a bad situation for Andrew, as he would most likely be pressured early on the carry the load for the team. He's not ready for that. He's not ready NOW to be the face of a franchise, especially OFFENSIVELY. That being said, he could BECOME that kind of player, but since he decided to bolt for the NBA based on potential, he's going to need some time to adjust. He needs to work on his handle, his shot (his shooting percentage is bad and he is seriously streaky), his shot selection, adding bulk to his athletic frame, the overall difference of pace in the leauge, and number of games (he gets tired and gives up on plays sometimes) in the NBA. Minnesota is an NBA graveyard. He will be in the kind of situation Ben McLemore was in last year in Sacramento. Wiggins will no doubt be much better than Ben, but the situations mirror each other. No mentors, young guys with no work ethic and a apathetic fan base. I guess he'll be closer to Canada, eh? SIGGGGGH. Love can't defend! Come one Cavs! Make the right choice.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 3 months ago

Don't do it! Love is the Melo of power forwards. He hasn't made his team better. Build this team and let it grow. Tristan Thompson could be a very good pf, along with Irving, and Wiggins with waiters coming off the bench. Bennett improving would be icing on the cake.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 3 months ago

Kevin Love is not worth 2 #1 overall picks and future #1. As a complimentary player which he'll be in Cleveland, I think Love is a great fit, but they can get him for a lot less in January unless someone else over pays for him before then in which case, move on with Thompson or trade up in the draft next year.

Josh Youle 7 years, 3 months ago

I guess I'm one of the few that thinks this would be a good move for all parties. Cleveland needs to build the best team it can around LeBron, not simply collect the most talent. Love brings exactly what they need, a rebounder and threat in the post. the James/Irving/Love trio would fit together far better than James/Wade/Bosh and is far younger. Throw in the fact that Waiters is gonna be a nightmare to deal with if he has to come off the bench, and that James/Wiggins have too many of the same holes in their games to be a successful duo. Minnesota gets a potential young star who's exciting and would at the very least sell tickets, and given the proximity to Canada maybe someone who might one day resign with them.

John Fitzgerald 7 years, 3 months ago

This made me "LOL" rather loudly ....

"That last bit is huge. The Cavs are in a great spot as it stands by having a young guy who can help LeBron carry the offensive load (Irving) and another who can help carry the defensive load (Wiggins). Wiggins on the Cavs means LeBron won’t always have to guard the other team’s best player. It also means Cleveland could conceivably have the two best perimeter defenders in the game three years from now. That might not sound as sexy as a 26-and-12 guy joining LeBron, until you realize that a Cavs defense with Wiggins and LeBron will get infinity steals, those steals will trigger fast breaks, and those fast breaks will end with one of those guys putting his nuts above the rim."

http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-would-you-trade-wiggins-for-love-shootaround/

John Deckert 7 years, 3 months ago

Has anyone on here even seen Wiggins play ball.? He will be an all star in no time. The pro game will suit him much better because of the open court & no zone defenses. Comparing him to Ben Mc. is crazy. It's a whole different situation. It would be fun seeing him play with LJ, but if they are dumb enough to trade him, I hope he lights them up every time they play. Also, anyone thinking that Love is going to avg anywhere close to his current figures is badly mistaken, especially if he has to play center & actually try to guard someone. Love is not worth 3 no. 1 draft picks! It would be a very stupid move by the Cavs, but it wouldn't be the first for a team that appears to be ran by the star player & not the coach or mgt.

Joseph Bullock 7 years, 3 months ago

FYI: LaBron was running the Cavs when he was there, the first time. He even told them to go out and get Drew Gooden, which they did!

Tracey Graham 7 years, 3 months ago

Eh. I still wouldn't be surprised if Love ends up with Golden State, if the T-Wolves can pry Klay Thompson away from the Warriors. Thompson is still young and has already established himself as an All-Star level player. Not to mention his dad was a huge star at the University of Minnesota, so there's a local tie-in there.

But if Andrew gets traded, he gets traded. Welcome to the NBA, kid.

Joe Ross 7 years, 3 months ago

I had been of the opinion to wait and see what the CLE organization said before jumping to conclusions that Wiggins was headed anywhere other than where he was drafted. This, however, looks like the kind of evidence that would suggest Wiggins is going to Minnesota. If he ends up there, I hope Wiggins works his butt off to improve rapidly. He HAS to bring the intensity every single night.

Yonatan Negash 7 years, 3 months ago

I live in Minnesota and I'm hoping for the trade to happen. I think Wiggins deserves to be the face of the team he plays for and Minnesota is a perfect fit.

Hopefully once Minnesota makes the trade, they can begin building the team around him.

One last point, Flip Saunders has done this before with a franchise player in KG and can do it again Wiggins.

Yep, I'm hoping it happens.

Ryan Zimmerman 7 years, 3 months ago

NBA should stand for "Never believe anyone"... so many back and forth, promises, rumors, etc side note, what's the emergency and rush with a trade? Cleveland is acting like Lebron is 40 and this is his final hurrah and chance to win a title... Good lord, give it a second and see what happens

Andrew Dunlap 7 years, 3 months ago

If Cleveland trades for Love, it will have a good chance to win a title in the next couple of years, maybe even this year. But if they keep Wiggins, they will have the same chance to win and will have a foundation for the next decade. If they spend all their wad on Love, its run will be over in 5 years,LeBron will be fading and Kyrie will move on.

Andy Tweedy 7 years, 3 months ago

Let me get this straight...your argument for not trading for Love is that they'd only have a 5 year window if they do? Wouldn't any franchise take a 5 year window? That's a long time in professional sports!

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 3 months ago

The Wiggins for Love trade wouldn't be a topic except for the Golden State Warriors. I get the feeling that the Wolves are using the Warriors now to incentivize the Cavs into trading Wiggins.

If the Warriors weren't a factor in the Love situation then I think that Cleveland would sit on it until January when Minnesota would likely accept a deal for Waiters and Bennett.

Sure, Love will be a free agent next summer with Cleveland, except for that he has a player option, and if traded to the Warriors there could be an agreement in the trade that Love opt in for the next season. If Love doesn't end up being traded, or is traded to GS without accepting his player option, then he'll definitely opt out and then the Cavs can almost certainly get him on board and could choose who they want to trade for cap space.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 3 months ago

Goodness .. anyone who would not trade Wiggins (and Bennett and a first rounder) for Love needs to have their head examined.

Wiggins can leave Cleveland just in time for his supposed stardom.

Meanwhile, Kevin Love is a superstar now. Averaging 26 ppg and 12 boards. Average.

Speculate on Wiggins becoming a star, or trade him for a real star.

Reminds me of the stupid OAD drama, the silly Sports Illustrated cover, etc. Do something, anything, perhaps, to earn some of the accolades, before you're crowned the next generational player.

Wiggins dove on the floor twice the entire season. Wiggins played soft as a cotton ball. And we're really questioning this?

Bernard Gregory 7 years, 3 months ago

I think that are a lot of these fans that brought into the hype. Wiggins has a lot of potential and is very atheletic but where was the greatness last year at the times when it was needed. Most posters are quick to point out the point guard play but very rarely is their mention of the fact that Wiggins in my point of view live up to the hype and basically was none productive at times. Many can point to the numbers but there were several players on that team if allowed to be none productive and still stay in the games would have produced more than Wiggins. Just my opinion.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 3 months ago

Nice post Jack. The thread is not surprising I wonder if any of them have any knowledge about the NBA. Love is a known commodity that they can lock in that fits with their team. Andrew has a lot to learn and yes plays soft too much. Wiggins needs to play for that next contract wherever he ends up, and hopefully he can make a leap to a winning team that he can be a part of. He has not shown he can be the guy to lead a team in the NBA.

Richard Njoroge 7 years, 3 months ago

the new king of cleveland will have the final say, we all know that

Christopher Taylor 7 years, 3 months ago

There are good arguments to make the trade or not. But I'd Cleveland gets Love, their only chance to win a championship will be to outscore their opponents. Which is not a recipe for titles. Ask the Warriors, Clippers, Thunder or Heat for that matter. Defense wins championships. The Cavaliers will be weaker defensively with Love than with Wiggins.

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