Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Column: Love, Wiggins trade logical

Andrew Wiggins of Kansas stops for a television interview after being selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the number one pick in the 2014 NBA draft, Thursday, June 26, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Andrew Wiggins of Kansas stops for a television interview after being selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the number one pick in the 2014 NBA draft, Thursday, June 26, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)


The public posturing from both sides surrounding a potential Andrew Wiggins-for-Kevin Love swap has spiced up the short NBA offseason.

It started weeks ago when Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said he had no interest in dealing Love. He slightly softened his stance a few days ago, saying he wouldn’t deal Love without receiving equal value in return. Love wants out.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers floated word they had no interest in dealing Wiggins, the No. 1 overall pick.

It’s lying season in the NBA. Lies, lies and more lies, all aimed at giving up less to get more.

Of course, the T’wolves would like to keep Love, but they also don’t want to let him walk without getting anything in return when he becomes a free agent after this coming season.

Sure, the Cavs would like to hold onto Wiggins because he’s so quick, long and explosive. But if landing a proven star of Love’s value requires surrendering a possible future star, the Cavs would be nuts not to do that. Wiggins, an unsure ball handler and inconsistent shooter, has a lot to prove and comes with no guarantees.

Naturally, new Cavs coach David Blatt went out of his way to praise Wiggins’ performance in the NBA summer league. He didn’t mention that he had one assist and 11 turnovers in 120 minutes for the same reason you don’t play up the blue smoke gushing out the rusted tailpipe of your first car that you’re trying to deal before it turns your entire driveway into an oil field. You play up the strengths and gloss over the weaknesses when trying to make a trade.

Wiggins, 19, impressed at the summer league in Las Vegas, averaging 15.6 points a game. In 2008, Love, at the age of 19, led the same league in rebounding with 13.5 a game and averaged 18 points.

Blatt, an NBA rookie coach at the age of 55, won four consecutive Israeli championships as coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv. Blatt took the job without knowing LeBron James would become the center of his universe. Coaching the best player in the world comes with understood expectations: Win now or walk. The Cavs have a far better chance of doing that with Love than Wiggins. The Timberwolves don’t need Wiggins to be good today and can stockpile lottery picks to go with him.

As much as Kansas fans would love to see Wiggins play with the certain TV darlings in Cleveland, and as cool as it would be for Wiggins to team with James, it’s difficult to imagine the teams won’t work out a deal that sends Wiggins to Minneapolis.


Alex Staley 7 years, 11 months ago

LJWorld, I understand you are probably tired of hearing about how upset everyone is with the management of the site these days, but I feel inclined to once again bring basic things to your attention that will provide your users a better experience. Please read this and give it some thought. I am not just trying to yell and scream-I want to give you ideas that will get the site back to the level of professionalism that I think you want as bad as we do. Trust that I am not just some ranting crazy; I build and optimize websites for a living. One of my primary expertise areas is in user experience. And I have to say I am incredibly disappointed with the seeming lack of attention paid to the revenue generating elements of the site (ads and surveys).

You guys MUST do something about the quality of the ads running on the site. NOBODY, absolutely none of the users that frequent these pages, wants to see ads featuring fungal toenails. This makes KUsports look INCREDIBLY unprofessional. "Miracle facelift in a bottle, " "Shocking: Ellen lied!" "Dermatologists will hate me for showing you this." This is all beneath this site, or at least it should be. These ads should never ever be featured on a professional journalistic entity. I am sure the company sold you some line about interest-based algorithm making their ads more relevant to your readers. Trust me, in my internet browsing I have never visited sites about fungal toenails, nor do I want to see it on a site I visit every single day.

Last rant, if you must keep the Google survey, at least move it to the top of the middle content space. As it is right now, it is featured under an ad (sometimes a long ad) and isn't initially visible. Think about new users-they would see an ad with no additional content. Did you notice a much higher bounce rate when you implemented those things? Often we must scroll down to the survey, complete it, then scroll back up to read the actual content. That is not this professional's recommendation. Put the survey above the ad, save your user's scrolling, and create a better experience for them. It might sound nitpicky, but, trust me, these things matter.

Please, please take these idea into consideration. Thanks

Jay Beakum 7 years, 11 months ago

It’s true. The ads are the worst. They’re disgusting and make no sense on this site.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 11 months ago

Media outlets like the LJW have a tough challenge to raise capital. Guys like Keegan and Newell do a great job whose opinions are valued by many. The challenge being how do they monetize that value and to keep food on the table.

Jay Beakum 7 years, 11 months ago

Newell is no longer with LJW. He’s in Topeka now. Perhaps there is a connection here.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 11 months ago

Yes I know, I regularly read his stuff during the season. He's a great numbers guy. The Topeka Capital Journal is in the same situation as the LJW.

Alex Staley 7 years, 11 months ago

I don't disagree. As much as I hate both ads and especially the Google surveys, I understand their place in making sure that the LJW can continue to serve quality content. I take issue with HOW the surveys are displayed and the "targeted" ads shown to me while reading stories. I was reading about Wigs' potential trade and my wife looked over at my screen and shuddered, having seen the creepy, wrinkly old woman used to tell us about miracle wrinkle cream. And I myself wanted to puke when I saw the fungal yellow toenails. I doubt very much that LJW wants that kind of reaction (shuddering) when people view their site. It has no place here and could just be done better. And that is what I am challenging them to do. Remove those low quality ads from the rotation ( I can't imagine how many legitimate clicks those get anyways) and run the more attractive ones. If they are unable to do so manually, they should move to an ad network that will give them the custom control.

I am very surprised (and impressed) my rant hasn't been deleted yet. I hate that it was the first one, but I was motivated to write it at that moment. I certainly didn't intend to hijack KU basketball talk, but it is worth some thinking.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 11 months ago

I'm glad you did write the above. I'm very much on the fence about continuing following this site. The questions seem to come more frequent, more intrusive, and more thorough, i.e. 10 parts. From the start, I detested providing such personal information and remain uneasy with my compromise to stay with the site.

Eric TheCapn 7 years, 11 months ago

I am equally, if not more, concerned about the rampant deleting of user comments and need to track users. Have some backbone and don't get offended by criticism or a bad word.

This is sports fandom and slightly colorful language should not be shunned. Be open to insults. Most of the most successful sites out there have thriving sharing/discussion boards/comment systems where people can say what the feel without worrying that their valid opinions and time would be quickly erased by oversensitive mods. It's like elementary school up ins. The biggest reasons I'm here are the camaraderie and insights from fellow, fervent Jayhawk fans. Both discussion board issues and privacy concerns (including usernames) have scared many people away. That's not good for us, the LJW, or advertisers.

Just... focus on user experience and quality coverage, please.

Alex Staley 7 years, 11 months ago

Amen. Although I am very impressed the LJW has not deleted my original comments, especially since they are the first ones on the story.

LJW, we love your content. We want to be here. We hate the user experience. Meet us halfway.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 11 months ago

Maybe. The needs of the Cav team with James is reason I argued on this page for them to draft Embiid, before the foot injury.

I know how effective Love is and would probably be with the Cavs, however, trading Wiggins seems to be an awfully high price. What's wrong with the Cav's spending another year growing with James. They can get Love for nothing next year. If Wiggins can tighten his handle and shot, he's going to be unstoppable in the NBA.

Recalling all the discussions we had on this site during the season about Wiggin's shot, the unanimous conclusion, as I recall, was the shot was technically sound, noting his FTs. His problem seemed to be an inconsistent release on the J, which never showed up on his FTs. Wiggins is a good hard working kid and you know he's going to tightened his game .... soon.

I'd be highly inclined to believe: 1) Love badly wants to play with James and 2) keep Wiggins and wait for Love after the season. The higher likelihood would be for MN to let him go around January..... for draft choices only. Cleveland hold the high cards and should wait MN out.

Greg Lux 7 years, 11 months ago

The quick fix wins over the potential superstar. Typical in America these day... It would not surprise me, but I still hope CI can work a deal and keep Wiggins...

Jack Wilson 7 years, 11 months ago

Actually, current superstar wins over potential superstar. 26+ points per game and 12.5 rebounds per game = superstar.

Page Butler 7 years, 11 months ago

Tom, I know you get beat up a lot for the way you write articles and I don't mean to pile on, but really did you just compare Andrew Wiggins to a beat up old car that is about to break down? How is that even logical? He is the number one draft pick and is good enough that experts are saying that he is worth trading an All Star for, yet you compared him to an engine that's about to blow. To accurately compare him to a car would be to say he hasn't even made it to his first scheduled oil change yet. My guess is that you have been wanting to talk about your old car turning a driveway into an oilfield and you found a way to work it into an article finally. Perhaps you should have your seals and gaskets checked before your worn out engine makes an oilfield all over the LJW floor. Page

Jack Wilson 7 years, 11 months ago

Here's how it's logical .. in marketing something, you don't want the flaws exposed. Once Wiggins starts playing real games, his value could go down significantly based on poor performance. Of course, it could go up, too. But I think the logic here is that the expectation of a superstar in Wiggins gets tempered more if he comes out and struggles (as rookies are prone to do). After seeing Wiggins, the T-Wolves might decide they like other options much better.

Your suggestion of comparing to a new car is not as good -- in a new car you get a test drive, and you have the expectation of the new car driving well like every other new car, with no problems in the near future; plus you have a warranty.

Page Butler 7 years, 11 months ago

I realize how things work when you are selling a used car or other item. You highlight the positives and minimize the negatives. To compare the number one pick in the draft before he even plays a game to a used car though is ridiculous. Now after one season you can have a better idea whether it is a good value in much the same way you don't see anyone clamoring for the services of last years number one draft pick Anthony Bennett. Even at that I don't think that anyone thought he was worth being drafted number one or maybe now even in the first round.

John Myers 7 years, 11 months ago

He didn't compare Wiggins to a car. He compared Blatt's process of commenting about Wiggins to the process of commenting about a car you're selling. Not the same thing.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 11 months ago

If I am Cleveland, I wait and see what kind of team I have this season. There is a lot of young talent that may blossom with Lebron leading the way. They may find that they don't need Love to come in.

John Randall 7 years, 11 months ago

Evidently, the most important opinion on this topic isn't willing to "wait and see" through one of the 5 or 6 prime years remaining to him. Lebron sees the light at the end of the underpass, and it's getting brighter every minute.

Alex Wishart 7 years, 11 months ago

If it was a no-brainier they would have made the trade already. The question is do you want a proven 20-10 guy who plays little to no defense who is only 25, or do you want a potential Scottie Pippen to LeBrons Jordan and someone who will no-doubt be a great defender from day one? With Kyrie and LeBron on the same team you don't need another 20 point per game guy, you need a guy who can take defensive pressure off of LeBron and who doesn't mind not getting his stats. One thing Kevin Love has proven is that he is all about getting his stats. He's going to be a downgrade for LeBron from Bosh in Miami when it comes to defense and knowing his role. Additionally, one of the reasons The Heat lost in the finals is because LeBron was the best player on Off and Def. That wore him down and Wade couldn't pickup the slack. Either way there is a case for both sides. I'm in the camp WTO keep Wiggins on the Cavs. Love will get his regardless. Wiggins needs to learn from te best to be his best.

Jeremy Wilhelm 7 years, 11 months ago

I think you have PERFECTLY summed up my take on this. If the Cavs get Love, they may go deep in the playoffs, but Lebron will make last years Finals burn out look like he was taking a walk in the park. If they hang on to Wiggins and he pans out, and they build around a pretty damn good nucleus, they could be unbeatable for a few years running, a la the Bulls and three-peat parts 1 and 2.

Eric TheCapn 7 years, 11 months ago

No one's going to wait five years in professional sports. The pressure, the EXPECTATION, is to win now. If you don't, you lose your job. Cleveland especially, wants to give its fans a championship and is now under major pressure to do so immediately. So is LeBron.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 11 months ago

Love is a star right now. He is the only guy who can create his own shot on offense and is the best rebounder we have seen since Barkley. It all depends on how they view Wiggins. If they view wiggins as the next LeBron, then you don't make the trade. If you view him as a star, then you trade. Love is a star now. Also, it would be good for Wiggins. Wiggins will be the third option for the next 5 years. If traded to Minnesota, he goes in as the primary guy. Question is, will he be able to handle it? I hope he has the mentality that if traded, he will make the cavs regret it. While we are at it, Twolves should trade for TRob and Ben Mac, make my decision on which team to follow a lot easier

Ryan Michael 7 years, 11 months ago

See, I think the stats are misleading... He's not nearly the rebounder his stats etc would communicate. He doesn't play ANY defense at all. Instead, he plays basketball like a businessman. He knows stats sell, so he gives up all his defensive assignments to instead focus on picking up rebounds and loose balls. His offensive abilities shine because he's the only person on his team to make plays. Pair him with Lebron, who will eat up those possessions and his offense takes a nose dive. Not to mention everything he gives up defensively.

I'm not saying Love isn't a solid player, but in my opinion the only reason he's an "allstar" is because he plays for a garbage team and plays specifically to pad his stats.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 11 months ago

The trade makes sense, but you have two/three of the typical mismanaged teams in the league involved so this is not going to be easy. Wiggins is not the primary guy for a franchise, he is soft spoken, and has not shown his charisma enough to make that statement. I think it would benefit any player to play with James, but this is beyond his control. All we can hope for is that wherever he ends up he gets a chance to develop his shot more and learn the ins and outs of the NBA.

Eric Schneider 7 years, 11 months ago

Someone tell me what Kevin Love has actually accomplished. I realise Wiggins hasn't either, but come on. Love is a big time scorer on a time that hasn't even been relevant after the All-Star break in any season he's been in the league. If he's as good as everybody says he should have been able to put the T-wolves on his shoulders and get to the playoffs at least once. Even in the West.

Wiggins hasn't accomplished a thing either. He is a team first guy, however, who has shown he is willing to do whatever it takes to win. Love Hasn't shown that. Either at UCLA or in Minnesota. Not saying don't make the trade. It's just not the no-brainer everybody seems to think it is.

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