While it looks like the Kevin Love-to-Cleveland trade is all but a formality, we finally heard from Andrew Wiggins on the weekend. He just wants to play for a team that wants him and it looks like that team will be the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Ever since the Cleveland Cavaliers signed LeBron James, the speculation has been rampant that Andrew Wiggins could be traded away for Love. It started with James’ letter on Sports Illustrated. Oddly enough, while he mentioned certain players Anderson Varejao, Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson, he omitted naming Wiggins, who was the first overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Is it possible that James already knew at that point that Wiggins could be a trade chip? It’s definitely mysterious that he wouldn’t mention him.
Speculation has been rampant that a deal will be consummated by the end of August as ESPN reported earlier in the week that the Timberwolves are only negotiating with Cleveland as the Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls have fallen out of the running. On top of that, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor came out and said that a deal should be done by August 23rd or 24th. At this point, it looks like Love is going to Cleveland and Wiggins will be headed to Minnesota. It’s only a matter of time.
How To Bet The News
We’ve talked about how the odds will change for Cleveland as they’ll clearly be an NBA Championship contender. That’s why their odds have drastically changed from 40/1 all the way down to 3/1. They are now the favorites to win the title. But what about the Timberwolves; what does it mean for them?
On paper, the Wolves should have been a decent team with Love. With Ricky Rubio running the point, Kevin Martin chipping in 19.1 points per game at shooting guard, Nikola Pekovic proving to be a reliable center (17.4 PPG, 8.7 RPG) and Corey Brewer, this team should have been fighting for a playoff spot in the West – especially when you consider their bench was comprised of some quality parts like J.J. Barea, Chase Budinger and Ronny Turiaf. However, that never came to fruition. This team looked disjointed and finished 40-42.
So with Love gone and Wiggins in, what’s changed? In the grand scheme of things, not much. This wasn’t a playoff team before and won’t be now. However, it will affect their wins and losses. Expect them to win fewer games next year. What the T-Wolves have done now is setup to go boom or bust with a lot of quality young talent. They never really wanted to give up Love but with him deciding not to sign long term there, they are getting a pretty sweet package in return. Wiggins should be a start, Rubio is an above average point guard, Pekovic is a quality starting center and they’ll have a slew of prospects that will hopefully pan out. There’s last year’s first overall pick, Anthony Bennett as well as a slew of other first-round picks like Shabazz Muhammad, Gorgui Dieng, Alexey Shved and Zach LaVine. If these guys can grow up as a team, this could be a force in the West in the coming years.
For now, this is a team you’ll want to avoid betting as there are a ton of moving parts. Don’t bet them to make the playoffs and stay away from them against the spread in the early part of the season. But if Wiggins is the real deal and Bennett/Dieng can fill the vacancy at power forward, this team won’t be much worse than it was last year. They could be a quality bet in during the second half of the season.