Jun 27, 2014; Independence, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers first round pick Andrew Wiggins (21) is introduced by head coach David Blatt (left) and general manager David Griffin at Cleveland Clinic Courts. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Wiggins: ESPN Takes on "To Trade or Not"

Earlier today we covered “Why the Cleveland Cavaliers Won’t trade Wiggins” There are a ton of reasons to keep Andrew Wiggins on the Cavs. Check out the article for details, but the biggest one we excluded from it was cost basis which ESPN hit upon when they looked at “Should Wiggins be Traded for Love” article on Insider (Cost $).

ESPN talked to a 12 NBA people about whether the Cavs should make the deal. The voted ended up 7 to 5 but here are a few of the responses that intrigued us, starting first with positives:

“Love is so overrated. He’s never won,” said one NBA executive. “I’d wait if I was Cleveland. I wouldn’t involve Wiggins in a trade for Love.”

“Kevin is a perimeter big,” added one coach. “He needs to have the ball on multiple possessions to be really effective. It will be very difficult for a first-year coach to divide possessions between LeBron, Kyrie and Love.”

“I feel like Wiggins may only be a year or so away from being a legit contributor,” one front office executive said. “And Wiggins is cheap, so you are able to add more. Love is gonna cost a ton.”

The first quote is obviously very interesting. Love is overrated. Could he be similar to James Harden that when he is put into big spots his flaws start to come out. Does his defense limits negate the offensive prowess? As the second person notes his need for the ball in his hands to make an impact also doesn’t flow with Irving and James which could be a problem. While Love would be great on pick and pops and pick and rolls could the limited touches due to the other two cause him to lose hope or rhythm?

The last quote creates another issue. Wiggins is cheap for 4 years while Love will cost a ton of money. A good problem to have when you have talented players but when you take into account having to also move one of Dion Waiters or Anthony Bennett, as well as at least 1 first round pick and you have a great deal of cost. Instead of paying those 3 or 4 players who are or can be highly productive you have reduced your depth and added to your payroll. Cheap rookie contracts are more valuable then ever, and needed when 2 players on the roster are making their max. Now on to the reasons that some saw to make the deal:

“Why wait on Wiggins when Love makes them better now,” said one assistant GM. “And if you don’t get Love now, he’s going to be a Laker next summer.”

“I definitely wouldn’t want to, but might have to,” said one high-ranking NBA executive. “I wouldn’t want to because Wiggins has a chance to be one of the top five players in the league and you could be set for 10 years. However, I might do it because Love helps you win a title in the next couple.”

“Cleveland becomes the favorite to win it all with the trio of LeBron, Kyrie and Love. With Wiggins, it’s going to take time. Sure, he’ll give you a terrific defender — but now you have that with LeBron.”

These quotes shouldn’t surprise but they do point to one specific issue: Trading for Love is about now and offense. Keeping Wiggins is about long term and defense. With Irving and James do the Cavs have a need for more offense or does Wiggins’ defense compliment better? Trading a player that could be a Top 5 player, and more, for a player in the Top 15 or 20, doesn’t create a long term team. Short term the Cavs would be interesting but in desperate need of defense, especially rim protection, from the center position. Something that is currently missing.

This mornings poll currently sits with 163 votes to not trade Wiggins and 44 votes for trading him for Love. It seems the people of Cleveland and the majority of those ESPN polled agree. Wiggins stays.

What would be your response to a Wiggins/Love trade?

Tags: Andrew Wiggins Cleveland Cavaliers

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