Trade Wiggins for Love? Why I’d do it.

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“I’m not promising a championship. I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010.”

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Barring a major injury to LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers will be back in the playoffs next season. They will be a contender, although a title — with the current roster– seems like a stretch. There is a lot of youth. There is a serious lack of playoff experience outside of James and Varejao. The team needs shooting, and after missing out on a couple of veteran centers, they have to find another big.

One solution to the biggest X’s and O’s problem facing the Cavaliers would be to acquire Minnesota All-Star Kevin Love.

The new big three of Kyrie, LeBron and Love would be formidable. The Cavaliers have reportedly been trying to get a third team involved in order to acquire Love without having to part with top pick Andrew Wiggins. Obviously that would be the ideal situation. James, Irving, Love, Wiggins, Varejao and whatever is left on the roster is a team that as Charles Barkley said would have the Eastern Conference wrapped up.

But what if Wiggins has to be included?

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“When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.”

In WFNY’s infancy, about the time it was first suggested that LeBron might not sign his first extension for the maximum length, I wrote a piece with a simple premise. I asked if you would rather have one guaranteed championship, or guarantee that LeBron signed the max extension. Taking the title meant LeBron was free to sign elsewhere if he wanted. Taking the contract meant no promises in regard to parades.

I took the title. I was surprised how many took the guarantee of LeBron signing, stating that he would likely bring multiple championships.

I’m getting older. I’m the oldest writer here at WFNY. I was born eight years after the last championship team in Cleveland. That one trophy is getting to be pretty important to me.

Yes, I’d love to watch a team that wins say two of the next four NBA titles. But I refuse to think about multiple titles or a dynasty type of run until that first parade downtown.

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“I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach. I will be the old head. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn’t know they could go. I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these talented young guys.”

How many years will LeBron still be in his prime? Three? Four? I’m all about LeBron teaching these young players how to prepare and play like a champion.

But I see a window to win a title. I don’t want to waste any years in that window. You never know who’s going to get injured, or what might happen down the road. Don’t waste opportunities. When the Indians lost the series in ’95, I thought we would win two or three in the next five years. When the Cavs lost the Finals in ’07, I was certain they would be back the next year.

I understand that Wiggins could eventually become a star in the league. I’d let Minnesota sweat it out a while and see if you could get Love without Wiggins. But if it came down to it, I’m willing to trade potential for a proven player.

I want that championship.

  • Steve

    But he’s still one of the most efficient players despite having to use all those touches, and he makes a big difference in how much Minnesota can outscore their opponents, even with those subpar teammates.

    Yes, he’s no Lebron, but that 2006-7 team, remember, the Raptors had the third best conference record. The East has been pitiful. The West this year was a bloodbath. Switch their places, and Love would have been in the second round of the playoffs every year and the Lebron-Wolves would have been lucky each year to make the playoffs.

  • Steve

    The Wolves are 0/6 in a tough as nails conference. There’s a huge, huge difference.

  • http://www.nothingisgiven.com dominiclongo

    The point is neither has playoff experience, which everyone thinks is the problem with this team making noise in the playoffs this year. I don’t understand how switching out one inexperienced player for another (in regard to playoff time) fixes that.

    Love is certainly the better player right now. But it’s still a learning curve come the playoffs either way. And Wiggins just might be the better defender right now anyway – which we could use more than anything if last season repeats itself to any degree.

  • Harv 21

    gosh, hope you’re right. Talk about winning the off-season…

  • saggy

    oh please. They’ve had plenty of opportunity. Al Jefferson was a 20/10 stud for a few of those years. Jonny Flynn was solid. they had players who should have given them the opportunities to win more than 17 games.

    Lately they’ve been worse, but they have no excuse for being so bad when they’ve had 2 legit all-stars.

    i like Marc Gasol better anyways.

  • saggy

    i guess you could probably find someone who would be willing to trade for Love and/or Kyrie.

  • mgbode

    they did allright with the movie. but the 2nd book (Speaker for the Dead) is the best of the bunch (Card has already said he will NOT make that book a movie as it’s too violent).

  • Horace

    I hope so too. And if some team decides to go all in for Love, then we can make a decision at that point whether or not to trade Wiggins. However, at this moment in mid July, trading Wiggins and outbidding ourselves doesn’t seem to make sense.

  • Earl Malmsteen

    I don’t think anyone is suggesting the Cavs do the trade unless Love is willing to immediately sign an extension.

  • CC

    What are those trade exceptions? I only could find the one for Haywood, but it’s not good ’til ’15-’16…

  • thenoclist

    2 titles in 4 years, not too bad

  • Matthew R Shadrake

    Bennett, Waiters and a pick makes some sense for both sides. Bennett and Waiters both have significant upside, are young and controllable assets. I would doubt that Minnesota can get a better offer.
    They’re also both somewhat dispensable on the Cavaliers’ current roster. Waiters figures to be Wiggins’ backup eventually if not immediately, with Jones and Miller being backups at wing (along with Carrick Felix, Joe Harris and possibly Ray Allen).
    Similarly, Bennett is going to be pressed for minutes at the 4 with Thompson, Varejao and possibly even LeBron seeing minutes there. The only thing I wouldn’t like about bringing Love in is that it would force Varejao to play pretty much strictly at 5, where I think he’s somewhat ill-suited.

  • Kush

    Cavaliers learn from your mistake you are already in a rebuilding mode why break the bank for a guy who might be around after the first season you better pray for no injuries. It is like a Chess move wrong move you lose your King.