We are seeking the audio but numerous reports are out this morning that Stephen A Smith reported something huge on Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio. He reported that Kevin Love has told teams that he will sign with Cleveland Cavaliers next off-season no matter where he is traded, or if he stays with the Timberwolves.
(Update: His exact words can be heard here, at about the 17 minute mark, which includes: “My sources told me just yesterday, and I don’t know if it is true or not so I don’t have it locked down, but I’m hearing that Kevin Love is basically telling other teams ‘Don’t bother bringing me long term because once my contract is up, if I have to serve this last year in Minnesota, I’m going to Cleveland.’ The man apparently wants to play with LeBron James.”)
Twitter took quickly to this report:
There are a few things that comes out from this. First and foremost if true it kills all of the Timberwolves leverage and could easily allow the Cavs to keep Andrew Wiggins. They also could now try to keep Dion Waiters as well now. The team will still need to match salaries and give the Wolves some quantity of future assets but could they keep two of their biggest in Wiggins and Waiters? A trade of Anthony Bennett, the contracts brought in from Utah and another player would get them to the $. Trading 2 of their 3 first rounders next year, plus at least 1 more in following years will help as well. A 3 or 4 team trade could also help everyone get what they want.
Unfortunately for the Cavs Love doesn’t seem to have a great grasp of the salary cap. With LeBron James and Kyrie Irving both making their max contracts the Cavs would struggle to be able to sign Love next year. This reduces some of the leverage the Cavs have. Yet would the Chicago Bulls or Golden State Warriors take that risk if they have heard this from Love or his representatives? Could another team swoop in and trade for him, and accept that he could only be there for 1 year?
We have reached out to Mike and Mike, ESPN Radio and Stephen A Smith to get the audio as well as to follow up on the report. We will post here as soon as we get it. As is it is an interesting turn of events in the Love trade chase. It also makes more sense of the report yesterday we covered that the Cavs haven’t offered Wiggins up yet.