The Lebron Legacy

  • Banned

    As most of you know Wiggins is back on the trading block for Kevin Love. Why I don’t know? For the life of me I don’t get it. Here you have a player in Wiggins who may or may not be the next big sensation in the NBA. He may not ever reach his full potential but maybe he will. Either way he has the athletic ability to be a solid player and to wow us at times even if he doesn’t reach the realm of the greats. Then you have a player in Kevin Love that can score and rebound but doesn’t play a lick of defense. Bottom line you know what your getting with Love. Yet with Wiggins just don’t know other than he will be a solid player and someone that can play defense. I’ve seen enough basketball in my life to know that Love doesn’t make you a championship team.

    So now I ask where is all this coming from? Just a week ago the Cavs were adamant that Wiggins was untradeable. Now all of sudden they’re willing to make that trade and they haven’t even signed Wiggins. Which means that they have to sign Wiggins and then wait 30 days to make the trade. No this isn’t the Cavs this is Lebron. Lebron wants this trade to happen, especial after seeing his tweets to woo Love to the Cavs. Bottom line Lebron is calling the shots on this one. Which amazes me that a player of his elk could ditch his hometown team, a place he grew up. Could come back and start calling the shots. Just F**king amazing.

    So why is Lebron so eager to move Wiggins? Did Wiggins say something to piss Lebron off? Notice that Lebron never mentioned Wiggins the # 1 draft pick when he decided to come back to the Cavs? I’m starting to think the only reason Lebron decided to come back to Cleveland is because they drafted Wiggins. What is he afraid of?

    Lebron the so called king my ass. He could do right by his organization, his home team, by allowing them to plan for the future, but no he wants no playing defense Kevin Love. Well good luck with that your majesty. Can’t wait to see you get rolled again next year by the Spurs if you make it that far, because you have no concept of a team or potential. No you want your big 3.

    That’s ok your highness you will never be remembered as Jordan, Bird, Magic or even Mister Tim Duncan. You could’ve had your Pippen but no. I bet if you asked the great Jordan? Which would you rather have Kevin Love or Dennis Rodman? He would say I’d rather have a inside man that can play defense and rebound than one that can’t. Let me let you on a little secret you highness the greats didn’t care about their legacy. They cared about winning for the teams that drafted them.

    Sorry KU fans I needed to vent, and this is like the only place I know I can.

  • Just got back from seeing Brian Regan in Beaver Creek and saw the report on Sportscenter…hope it’s not true…WAY SHORTSIGHTED!

  • @DoubleDD I feel exactly the same way! You said it perfectly. I can’t stand Lebron! I hated the way he treated Mario too. So glad KD won this year, he is humble and classy!

  • @DoubleDD Something to think about here is that Wiggins was never “their guy” in Cleveland. They were set to draft Embiid before injury. The front office & owner were at odds over whether to take Wiggins or Jabari Parker. There was no consensus. Wiggins was the consolation pick. I suspect it’s much easier for them to throw him to the Wolves (so to speak) than if they had a healthy Embiid. So maybe it is LeBron pulling the strings, but let’s not assume that he had to do some massive power play to get them to part with Wiggins. Could be they were just never that sold on him.

    I had posted previously on how I really hope this deal doesn’t get done. It sucks for Wiggins to be faced with potentially going to Minnesota (although if the draft lottery were fair he probably would have landed in such a dismal franchise destination). I suspect that’s why you are as upset about the situation, as am I. We wouldn’t care as much about Wiggins being traded if it was to a first class organization that, while possibly rebuilding, we were confident would get the ship righted. But Minnesota? Ugh!

    Initially I was of the opinion, looking at the situation objectively and attempting to see the point of view of the Cavs’ management, that I would indeed reluctantly trade Wiggins for Love. Love is an all-star. An olympian. And his stats are eye-popping. As a general rule, if you have an opportunity to acquire an all-star caliber player, in any sport, you part with prospects. Because they are just that - prospects. They are unproven. You are trading an unproven commodity for a proven one, and at the end of the day the proven commodity is far more valuable…today. Maybe not in 5 years. Maybe not even next year. But today, for a team that is suddenly a serious player in the East, the proven commodity is worth considerably more.

    You also have to factor in that the city of Cleveland hasn’t won a championship in over 50 years. To be the team, or the guy, that ends that drought…you pull out all the stops.

    However, after thinking on this a bit more, even objectively I don’t think you trade Wiggins for Love. Several reasons, the first being that while Love is a proven commodity, it is not proven that he is a winner. I said this before as well, but to be a superstar you have to elevate your team to some modicum of success. Love hasn’t even been able to lead the Timberwolves into the playoffs.

    The second reason I’d be against this trade is not even that I’m against it but more that I’m against it NOW. We haven’t seen this team on the court yet. Why would anyone in the Cavs organization be so quick to determine that Love is a better fit than Wiggins without even seeing Wiggins OR LeBron play with this group? There’s a good piece by the Grantland staff available on where they talk about how Wiggins & LeBron might play together, and it’s pretty enticing to imagine! But instead everyone seems to be lubing themselves over the prospect of seeing Kevin Love’s outlet passes (Oooooohh! Exciting!).

    Another reason to not cave now is that Cleveland has most of the leverage. Why give that away? The Timberwolves are faced with trading Love or getting nothing for him in return. As long as Golden State continues to refuse Klay Thompson in any package for Love, Cleveland is in the driver’s seat even without Wiggins. A measly 4 days had passed since they took their stance of not trading Wiggins. They could have played hardball and seen if Minnesota would cave and take a lesser package of players & picks. Now having tipped their hand, it will be almost impossible to get Flip Saunders to come off a demand for Wiggins.

    Unfortunately, I fully expect the Cavs management to trade Wiggins to Minnesota. It’s what they do. They are constantly messing things up, yet somehow are rewarded for it. They ineptly surround LeBron with the most pathetic supporting cast for years, prompting him to leave. Gilbert childishly pens an insulting letter assaulting LeBron’s character, yet they re-sign him after 4 years away. They somehow win the draft lottery 3 out of 4 years, they squander one on Anthony Bennett and now seem hell bent on trading another away. As much as I don’t want to see Wiggins in Minnesota, a part of me wants him to leave just to get away from the Cavs. That same part of me wants all of this to blow up in Dan Gilbert’s face and that they win no championships, and when LeBron is gone we all laugh at them and say “that’s why you’re Cleveland! That’s why you have no championships!”

    If LeBron is pulling all these strings, it’s puzzling. I’d like to give him more credit to see the big picture. Who knows, maybe he saw his buddy Dwyane Wade’s body fail him at age 31 and is now paranoid that the same fate awaits him, so he’s in “win now” mode at all costs. Maybe he is threatened by Wiggins for some odd reason. Maybe the “maple Jordan” thing made him insecure, and he thought he should have gone with “maple LeBron”. I’ve given up trying to understand him. But while I actually found myself quietly pulling for him when I heard of his return to Cleveland, if he pushes Wiggins out the door I’ll be loudly pulling for anyone who plays against him.

  • Banned

    @icthawkfan316 here is the thing that sticks in my mind. Lebron never once mentions Wiggins when deciding to come back to Cleveland. I’m serious has a heart attack when I say this. If the Cavs don’t select Wiggins, King James resigns with the Heat. No I have no evidence, but for some reason I feel it in my gut.

    I’m sorry Kevin Love has proved nothing to me. I would take Dennis Rodman over him any day. Just because you can fill up the rim doesn’t mean you’re a proven all star or champion. Don’t believe watch the Spurs just eat him alive. The NBA is no different than any sport when it comes to their star players. However as history has shown year after year teams win championships. Yes there are exceptions to the rule, but I think you understand my point.

    I’m like you I’m leaning for the trade now so Wiggins can escape the big Lebron failure. The big three and the Heat where able to do what they did because the East was so weak. Yet we’ve seen first hand what a TEAM like the Spurs could do against the so called Big 3. In fact the Spurs should’ve won last year.

    Lebron is making a big mistake. Wiggins may be a unknown has you said, but I’m willing to bet my house that he’s at the very least a solid NBA Player. To often people think if a player doesn’t meet expectations they’re a failure. Wiggins was tabbed the next Lebron James. Who could live up to that? Yet what if he averaged a double double, 20 points, and 10 rebounds and is one of the best defense players in the game? Now is he a failure? Just my two cents.

  • @DoubleDD I’m not sure I understand the rationale of saying if the Cavs don’t select Wiggins then James re-signs with the Heat. Are you saying that since they drafted Wiggins that James knew he’d be able to force Cleveland to trade him for Love? In that scenario, I see it equally as likely that had Cleveland selected Parker he would have done the same.

    Also not quite sure why Dennis Rodman became the standard in the “Love or this guy” scenario, seeing how Rodman has been out of the league for over a decade. I mean, maybe LeBron would take Rodman over Love. But that’s not the choice, it’s Wiggins or Love, and I think comparing Rodman to Wiggins simply because they both play defense is kind of an ill-suited comparison. Because the question here isn’t would you take a rebounder & interior defender (Rodman) or a rebounder & scorer (Love), it’s whether you would take an unproven perimeter commodity (Wiggins) or a proven interior commodity (Love).

  • @VailHawk Love me some Brian Regan!! I’m always impressed (and refreshed) by someone who can make me laugh my buttocks off without being a potty mouth. It takes some smarts to be funny without being foul.

    Take Luck!!

  • Look at the Cav’s GM and you will understand why Blatt was signed to coach and why they want Love! Their GM appears the classic NBA basketball-lite type; that I can recall, he never played for a champ in the L, never coached a champ, never managed a champ, never even promoted a champ. wiki indicates he started out running a Nike camp for a year. Then was an assistant at Scottsdale juco 2 years. Then mail room and 23 years with Suns rising to prez of bball operations. He appears to know less about how build a champ in basketball than THE FED knows about how to maintain effective, humane wealth distribution to the bottom 98% in a republic!!!

    Hypothesis: Wig’s posse and adidas smelled the coffee in Cleveland and recognized it brimmed with incompetence and Nike–in turn they signaled through lawyers that Wigs will play elsewhere and so the the effort to trade for Love recurred with Wigs in the mix. Just a hypothesis though!

    This could be the time when the Lakers step in. Wigs and Xavier. Sweet!

  • @icthawkfan316 Great post.

  • Banned

    @icthawkfan316 I brought up this theory and Dennis Rodman for a couple reasons. First Chicago went out and found a role player to fill a need. Some body that didn’t have to carry the team. Somebody that could play defense, rebound, you know a solid player. Kevin Love is not this kind of Player. You don’t trade the future of your franchise for a Love kind of player. Notice nobody is jumping or begging for Love? Just Saying.

    In the end the Cavs make this trade at the behest of the King. Why is the concept that James could demand who he plays with seem so farfetched? He did it at Miami, yet he couldn’t do that at Cleveland? No the Cavs wanted to keep Wiggins, they even came out publicly and said so. No something changed and the something was Lebron.

    Like I said I don’t have any proof. I just really believe that Lebron came back to the Cavs because of his ego. So every thing I say from here on out take with a grain of salt. Whether some KU fans and NBA experts want to admit or not. Wiggins has some mad athletic ability and skills. Yes I know it’s all potential, but everything about the about NBA is predicated on potential. If Wiggins becomes every thing people projected him to be. Who needs the old Lebron when you have the younger version? You see to me Lebron came back to Cleveland because of his ego. He was afraid of a player like Wiggins doing something he never could or will, and that’s win a championship at Cleveland.

    I hope the trade happens. So when Lebron packs his bags in two years, Cleveland will be stuck with the proven interior commodity you seem to think Love is. Yet nobody seems willing to trade the future of their franchise for. I’m sorry but I totally disagree with you this. You maybe right that Wiggins is an unproven perimeter commodity, but you don’t trade the #1 draft pick of a star-studded class before he even steps on the floor. You especially don’t trade the #1 pick for Kevin Love before you watch the kid play. The more I think about this no wander Cleveland hasn’t had a championship in 50 years. You know second thought Cleveland has to do this trade. They must trade Wiggins, and even Irving if neccessary to get Love. Like you said he is proven.

  • @nuleafjhawk

    Ever notice there’s only two kinds of sprees, shopping and killing?

  • “I’ve seen enough basketball in my life to know that Love doesn’t make you a championship team.”

    I’ll second that!

    Let’s all get this straight. LeBron is pulling the strings at Cleveland. That was part of the deal to get him home and why you won’t see LeBron settle into a long-term contract.

    Love vs Wiggins

    Rebounding vs Defense

    Both elements are paramount, except you don’t have a lot of rebounds when you don’t have any defense. Just ask the Heat! I definitely will take defense over rebounding. Rebounding is easier to coach in some “team rebounding” to help reduce weaknesses.

    If I was one young Andrew Wiggins, the easiest way to lift his stock is to start crashing the boards. There is no reason why he can’t become a big-time rebounder. He will earn serious NBA minutes (and victories) if he only works hard on defense and rebounding. Let his offense come around at an organic speed. Eventually, his offense will catch up to his defense.

    There are only two possibilities why Wiggins won’t become a superstar in the league… first, injury. He doesn’t seem prone to injury so the rest is mostly luck. Second, he gets put on bogus teams with bogus coaching that doesn’t understand how to use Wiggins and they get him focused on the wrong things.

    Andrew was setup well by Bill Self. Self recognized the correct path for Andrew to take. Andrew’s offensive talent will come over time… lots of time… and like a good wine, it will be worth the wait and investment. But in order to buy time, Andrew has to offer enough game to keep him on the floor. Developing his defense was a faster path to developing a useful benefit. The next step should be rebounding. Rebounding is dead simple to learn, whether you are positioned in the paint or on the perimeter.

    Trading Wiggins for Love would truly be for short-sighted reasons and would be a gigantic blunder. If Cleveland plays it smart, they will practice some patience and develop their talented stable of players into a cohesive unit. They also already hold future draft position to acquire more. Wiggins should be a franchise player unless he gets with idiots. If this setup doesn’t work I would love to see him eventually end up at SA with the best coach in the league, Coach Pop.

  • Interesting developments. Apparently LeBron has reached out to Kevin Love about joining the Cavaliers. He knows that the only way to get Love now is via trade that includes Wiggins.

    Link to story…

    Interesting that LeBron has not mentioned Wiggins a single time, which lead me to believe that he does not want Wiggins around, why? Because he probably sees Wiggins as the up and coming player and potential rival, ready to eventually take the spotlight from him.

    LeBron definitely seems to be calling the shots in Cleveland and, if I understand correctly, he has two year contract but the second year is “his” option, which means that he can leave after one season…one of those things that make you go hmmmm or as the younger crowd would say…WTF?

    Also interesting that Wiggins has yet to sign with Cleveland, and likely playing in Las Vegas under a “Summer Contract.” What happens if Wiggins tells Cleveland to shove it and opts to play in Europe for a while? I am sure European teams would pay 2-3 times what he will be making under the rookie contract in the NBA. I am not sure how long the Cavs retain his rights under this scenario.

    BTW, after (and if) the Cavs sign Wiggins, they have to wait 30 days before they can trade him. Wiggins can hold signing, all the while Love’s trade value declines and makes the trade less likely.

  • @DoubleDD I still think the Rodman comparison is kind of weird. You say you don’t trade the future of your franchise for a Love kind of player. Well…you don’t trade the future of your franchise for a Rodman kind of player either! It’s true they are different kinds of players. Rodman is more of a role player, whereas Love is more of a player to build around. Not a franchise player, but he could easily fit in as the third piece in any big 3.

    You say nobody is jumping or begging for him. This is true in that there are few teams willing to trade for him. But there are reasons for this, not because teams don’t think Love is a very good player. A big reason is because he is in the final year of his contract. You don’t trade anybody of value for a rental, except under two conditions: first if that player puts you over the top to be in line for a championship. Few teams are in this position, and even fewer would remain in this position after trading away the assets necessary to acquire Love.

    The second condition in which you trade for a player in his walk year is if you have assurances that player will re-sign with your team, thus making him not a rental player and more a long-term piece. So in this situation, one in which you are going to sign Love long term, you have to have cap space. Few teams have that kind of cap space and are in a competitive situation that Love would consent to signing long-term.

    So we see because of these conditions, the trade market is predictably limited for Love. However, if he should become a free agent next year we will see teams lining up to sign him. I predict it could be along the lines that we saw teams making pitches and moves to land Carmelo. Maybe even more so, because in Carmelo’s situation there was always the Knicks looming who could offer him the most money. Even with Minnesota in that same position, teams know Love isn’t going back there, so the market is more open for his services. I also think perhaps a comparison to Melo is more apt, in that both are very good players that don’t play defense.

    I do agree that everything being done is to pander to LeBron. Mike Miller, James Jones, maybe Ray Allen. Granted these are all shooters, which Cleveland needed, so it’s not as if they’re just bringing in a bunch of his worthless buddies. But yeah, if LeBron wants Love, the Cavs would move whatever pieces he tells them to in order to do so. It’s pretty sickening seeing a player with that much organizational control.

    And while part of me wishes he could get out of Cleveland, a big part of me hopes he stays. The situation is perfect for him in Cleveland. He doesn’t have to be “the man”, he doesn’t have to carry this team. With other scorers around him, he can as @drgnslayr says let his offense come to him at an organic speed. He can do the things that come naturally to him in Cleveland - play defense and get out in transition, while working on the parts of his game like his outside shot and ball handling. Should he go to a talent-bereft wasteland like Minnesota, that team will lean on him and he’ll have to force his offensive game. In that situation, we might never see him maximize his talents.

  • Banned

    @icthawkfan316 to me the issue isn’t whether Kevin Love is a poor, good, or great player. However if we must explore this avenue. Then here’s my point you never trade a #1 pick of Wiggins elk for a Kevin love type player. Never.

    I understand a team makes free agent moves and flat out trades to make a run at a championship. However you don’t trade away the future to do so. Well unless you want to be a one hit wander.

    Wiggins will be traded, the wheels are already in motion. Even if the Cavs don’t trade Wiggins and half their team for Love because as you said he’s a proven player. The damage is done. You have the King out peddling Wiggins like a used car. Which is fine with me, yet how could it be any good for Wiggins to stay a Cav when the leader, the King of your team is trying to trade you like a dirty rag?

    I hope His highness gets his Love. Then I’m going to sit back and watch Tim Duncan and the Spurs just eat Kevin Love alive. You’re right about one thing Kevin Love is proven. Proven to play no defense.

  • I hope Andrew makes the best of whatever happens.

    If he stays in Cleveland, he can learn a lot from James.

    If he gets traded he should develop a chip to prove the critics wrong.

    Either way, if he has his mind right, he’ll be fine.

    I’d just like to see him end up in SA with Coach Pop!

  • Let’s remember that basketball trades require two to tango.

    If you’re in the Wolves front office, and you’re trading Kevin Love, a proven 20-10 guy who is one of the best 12-15 players in the NBA right now, you had better get back an impact guy or a potential impact guy, or you should start updating your resume because you will not have a job if you trade Kevin Love for 60 cents on the dollar. There’s no two ways around it.

    So you look at Cleveland’s roster - who can they give up? If they deal Irving, they have no PG and they have to go out and find a decent PG. Waiters isn’t an impact or potential impact guy. Bennett is coming off one of the worst seasons ever for a #1 pick. That leaves Wiggins. He is literally the only impact guy that Cleveland has that they could potentially move.

    If you’re Minnesota, you can’t do this deal unless Wiggins is included. You can’t give up an asset like Love without getting an asset back.

    From Cleveland’s perspective, you have to figure out how long the Lebron window is. Let’s recall that Lebron just watched Dwyane Wade decline from being a top 15 player to a shell of his former self in just two years.

    Lebron himself has played exactly 1000 NBA games, including playoffs and has logged 39993 total minutes. As I always say, there is a definite shelf life to a high level career. Michael Jordan played a total of 1251 games in his career and logged 48415 minutes. Kobe Bryant has played 1465 games and logged 54208 minutes. The last time Kobe played a full season he was 32. Jordan’s final season saw him play all 82 games, but posted his lowest scoring average of his career (more than 2 points lower than any other season).

    Assuming that Lebron (now 29) has four more elite seasons in him (really pushing it), followed by two very good seasons and then three declining seasons, Cleveland’s best option is to maximize the next two seasons because this is absolutely their best window with Lebron. If Wiggins isn’t likely to be a top 35 player this season or next season, Cleveland’s best chance to win a title probably would be with Love because you can’t give away two of the remaining elite Lebron seasons. You will never get those seasons back.

    Five years from now, Wiggins is likely a better asset than Kevin Love. Heck, three years from now Wiggins could be a better asset than Love. But five years from now, Lebron is 34 and the Lebron championship window is probably closed. Three years from now that window may only be open a sliver. Championship windows are short.

  • @justanotherfan Good analysis. I’ve posted much of the same regarding what Minnesota has to get back, Cleveland needing to pull out all the stops for championships, etc.

    I think one thing I might disagree with is the idea that keeping Wiggins and just staying the course equates to “giving away two of the remaining elite Lebron seasons.” We don’t know how this team looks. With LeBron, with Wiggins, with Love. I think most would agree, if looking at the situation objectively, that Love is indeed a better player than Wiggins right now. However, championship teams are not always the best collection of individual players. Often times all-star teams, or “dream” teams, fail. Not because they aren’t talented enough, but because that talent has to mesh to produce the best team. Who knows what the best mesh is for this Cavalier team? We can only project how things will fit. A lot of media people are projecting Love to complement LeBron’s game nicely, because he’s a shooter who can space the floor, because he rebounds, and because he is the Brady Morningstar of outlet passes apparently (sorry, but every time I read some “expert” gushing about Love’s outlet passes it makes me think of people extolling the virtues of BStar’s post entry passes).

    What few people are projecting is how well Wiggins might complement LeBron. By keeping Wiggins, LeBron may finally be able to let someone else guard the other team’s best perimeter player. By all accounts, Wiggins should step onto the floor day 1 and be a plus defender. I don’t think this can be undervalued. Letting him catch his breath on the defensive end would definitely be one way to stave off aging decline, whereas conversely if he has to go balls out on the defensive end every game because he has a bunch of stiffs out there it will definitely accelerate the aging process.

    I also think that bringing in Love suddenly limits a bit of LeBron’s flexibility. You can’t play small with LBJ at the 4 anymore, as Love is essentially a stretch 4. One of the things that made Miami so successful was their small-ball line-ups that other teams couldn’t match or exploit. Plug in Love, and that option goes away.

    Anyway, as I’ve said before, they should let this play out for a bit. Here’s a link to a Grantland article that I’ve mentioned before that talks about some of what I’ve been saying here:

    Grantland article

    But if after evaluating the team it is determined that they have a better chance, a legitimate chance, of winning a championship with Love, then you make the move everyday. If it results in even one championship and Wiggins goes on to have a successful career, it was still worth it.

    P.S. Thanks to @JayHawkFanToo - link successfully posted! Much appreciated!

  • @justanotherfan

    Keep in mind that if the Wolves don’t trade Love soon, he plays one season and they get jack…that is 0 cents on the dollar; a small percentage of something is better than 100% of nothing.

    Also, although a firm number for the salary cap is just about impossible to pinpoint because of all the exemptions, it looks like after signing Wiggins, the Cavs will be right around the salary cap. Love would come in at over $20M per year which is well over $15M of what Wiggins will be making, so in order to make room, the Cavs will have to shed several players and the team will resemble Miami last season, a team with no bench…did not work too well for Miami either.

  • I can’t believe this is July and we are getting such a great quality of posting in here!

    Thumbs up, people!

  • Banned

    Look guys it doesn’t matter what Minnesota wants. Of course they want to trade a Kevin Love for a Wiggins. That my friend is a no brainer. There probably isn’t a team in the league that wouldn’t make that trade.

    This is about the Cavs bending over backwards to appease the great Lebron. Even if it means pissing away the future in a player like Wiggins. Here you have a player like Lebron who dissed is home town and yet now that same team is willing to piss away the future of the organization so Lebron can run around and say Hey I won a championship for you guys.

    I laugh at you that say the Cavs have to make this trade. Let me ask you a question would you trade Jordan for Love? How about Bird, Magic or even Duncan? Yea of course not because you know how these player turned out. Yet you think trading Wiggins is a no brainer. Really so what if the Cavs trade Wiggins for Love, and the Cavs do indeed win that one championship? Yet Wiggins goes on to win 6 or even 7 championships? Still think that was a good trade?

    It’s mind boggling to me that these kids are drafted on potential yet it’s a no brainer to trade them for a proven player. Why even draft at all? Just trade the First round pick every year on proven players? Bottom line you know what Love is, he’s hit his peak. You have no ideal what Wiggins can be. No ideal.

  • There probably isn’t a team in the league that wouldn’t make that trade.

    @DoubleDD Well, we know there’s one team - Cleveland.

    My man, look I don’t want to be disrespectful, but you keep throwing out these outrageous comparisons. Jordan, Bird, Magic, Duncan. Could Wiggins be that great? It’s possible, but the odds are against it. What you’re talking about when you make those comparisons is keeping Wiggins on the statistical improbability that he turns out to be one of the 10 best players of all time. That’s just an outrageous reason to keep Wiggins, because he might be THAT good. Because he might win 6 or 7 championships (which only a handful of players have done, Jordan & Pippen have 6, Robert Horry, Russell and some of his Celtics teammates have that many…that’s it I believe).

    What if I told you that by trading Wiggins for Love that it gave you - as the Cleveland GM - a 25% chance at winning a championship sometime in the next 3 years. Now I tell you that by holding onto Wiggins that chance reduces down to say 10%, but you have a .01% chance that holding onto Wiggins nets you 6 or 7 championships? Those are essentially the odds you are talking about when you make statements like that. You’re saying “what if he goes on to win 6 or 7 championships”…you know, like 1/1,000 of the players in league history have done.

    And really, when you get down to it, that’s what trading potential for proven talent is about - weighing the odds. Anthony Bennett was last year’s #1 pick, and probably still has a lot of potential. But would Minnesota consider a deal centered around him? No, because the odds are he isn’t going to progress to an all-star level. Now a player like Andrew Wiggins…there’s a greater chance of him developing. But there’s still a chance that he never lives up to that billing. Shall we go through the history of top 3 picks and find out how many are busts, or at least how many were never “the future of the franchise” that drafted them? And I say top 3 picks, because without the injury to Embiid, Wiggins goes #3. So you can throw out as many hypothetical scenarios - “Really so what if the Cavs trade Wiggins for Love, and the Cavs do indeed win that one championship? Yet Wiggins goes on to win 6 or even 7 championships? Still think that was a good trade?” - like that one, but for every scenario like that, there’s one that says “Really what if the Cavs trade Wiggins for Love, and the Cavs do end the city’s 50 year championship drought and win one title, and Wiggins has a solid, but unspectacular career? Still think that is a good trade Minnesota?”

    I think the funny thing to me is that I feel I have a very reasonable approach to the situation - to see how this team looks on the court before making a decision. If it looks like Wiggins will mesh well, then you keep him. If it looks like the one thing holding you back is a jump shooting, glass-vaccing power forward, then you make the trade for Love. What I don’t get is you’re not even there. You’re not even willing to look at it. You’re just anointing Wiggins the future of the franchise and speculating that he wins 6 or 7 rings before seeing him in so much as 1 regular season game. That to me is what’s mind-boggling.

    Your last statement (with spelling corrections) is the most accurate thing you’ve said: “You have no idea what Wiggins can be. No idea.” You’re 100% right. Could be he’s a HOFer. Could be he’s just a solid rotation guy. We have no idea. Where we seem to be world’s apart are is the odds. The odds of Wiggins being a future of the franchise type player. It’s possible. I hope he has that kind of career. But even for the kids with the most promise out of high school and college, the odds are against it.

  • Good gosh, trading Wiggins and Bennett, and a first round pick, for Kevin Love is an absolute no brainer. I mean do it now. Kevin Love is a superstar right now. Not speculative. Not in the future. Not maybe. Love is a double double machine. He averaged over 26 ppg and 12 board per game – average!

    This is not even a debate. It’s not a debate because it’s the classic bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Sure thing vs. maybe thing. If Cleveland wins one title in the next three seasons, and Wiggins because Michael Jordan, it is still a good trade. That is because no one can say that Wiggins will become Jordan. He could just as easily be a flop.

    Lebron, Love, Irving is better than any other “big three” around – all due respect the Spurs.

  • @HighEliteMajor wouldn’t that be 3 in the bush? One bird is a Jhawk!

  • The following excerpt is from a Grantland article where they graded NBA teams in the offseason (btw, if you don’t already you should really spend some time on Grantland. The writing is better, more in-depth, and often times very humorous):

    "One of the funny parts about spending way too much time on the Internet is that sometimes you initially agree with a criticism, but then everybody starts talking about it and tweeting about it, one-upping each other with hotter takes, and eventually the opinions get taken so far that you can’t help but double back and start defending what you were initially criticizing.That’s what happened with Daryl Morey this week.

    It went like this:

    • “Wow, the Rockets really looked like idiots in the end this summer.” (Yep.) • “Morey isn’t as invincible as everyone says he is.” (100 percent.) • “What happened this summer was a colossal mistake.” (Umm …) • “Morey’s just a product of incestuous media putting him on a pedestal. He’s never been that great” (OK.) • “Seven years in Houston, and Morey’s made the second round once. Why doesn’t anyone write an article about THAT?” [Backing away slowly] • “FINALLY, the myth of Morey is being exposed.” (Wait, what?) • “Will the Rockets even make the playoffs this year?” (WHAT?)"

    I feel this is what has happened to me with the Wiggins trade. Here I am defending the legitimacy of it to DoubleDD, when the fact is I don’t want it to happen, and I’m not even sure it should happen.

    All due respect to @HighEliteMajor, but to me it’s not a “no-brainer”, and there is plenty of room for debate. The first thing that I’d say to ANYONE quoting stats is - did you watch him play? If you didn’t, spare me the fantasy basketball line. After that I’d ask anyone that thinks it is a no-brainer if they know how this team looks. Do they know how LeBron & Irving are going to co-exist, how they’re going to space the floor. Do they know the team’s strengths & weaknesses. No? And because we don’t know how this team will look, do we know how Kevin Love will fit in with it? Is he a sure thing with this team? Do we see a stat drop like we saw with Bosh when he left the Raptors for the Heat? Can three guys such as LBJ, Irving, & Love, who all demand the ball and are volume type scorers, play together effectively?

    I get that it’s the known commodity vs potential debate (I’ve been essentially extolling the virtues of trading for the known commodity with my most recent post to DoubleDD), so it may seem like I’m flip-flopping, or arguing to argue, or playing devil’s advocate to everyone on the site. But my position has been wait and see. Maybe out of my fear of Wiggins landing in Minnesota. I know sentimentally, I want Wiggins to stay in Cleveland because I think it will be best for his development. Objectively, I think at the end of the day you probably make this trade, but still there’s no harm in waiting other than maybe Wiggins gets hurt and you can’t do the deal. I just think it’s too quick to assume what’s best for a group of players we’ve never seen play together.

  • Banned

    @icthawkfan316 I understand what your saying, in that if you can win a championship by picking up a piece here or there. You do it. However Kevin Love is not just a piece he is a chunk, that demands minutes and the ball in hand. Yes it’s easy (HEM) to look up Kevin Loves numbers and say oh yea this guy is the real deal. Trade half your team for him. However if you watched the guy play. He can’t play defense and a lot of his scoring happens when the game has already been decided.

    Icthawkfan316 I guess the thing for me is how do you trade a player like Wiggins without even seeing what the kid can do? I understand the odds of Wiggins becoming the next Jordan, Bird, Magic and so on are slim, but there is a chance. And that is what baffles me. Why you would you just trade the kid without even seeing what he could do with the pieces you already have.

    Icthawkfan316 do you really think if the Bulls would’ve traded Jordan and won one championship because of that trade, while Jordan went some where else and won 6 championship and became the greatest player to play the game is a good trade? I know comparing Wiggins to Jordan is kind of funny, but that’s what I’m saying we just don’t know.

    I think you’re a lot like me on this, just a little more leveled headed about it. You want to see what Wiggins can do before you pull the trigger on such a trade. (I have checked out that Grantland article) I too understand that if there are pieces out there to make your team better you have to at least entertain such thoughts. I guess what bothers me the most about all this is. I feel that Lebron had his mind made up to move Wiggins before he signed on the dotted line. Whether it’s Kevin Love or not, Wiggins will be traded, and that kind of bothers me. Also the idea of trading Kevin Love for Wiggins is a no brainer. Well that’s just dumb. If it’s such a no brainer then the Cavs should have never drafted Wiggins yet instead just traded the first pick for Love. As it seems by some no matter who is drafted you make that trade?

  • To reiterate the hypothesis: Wiggins’ posse and adidas want out of the Cleveland-Lebron-Nike complex and that is why trading for Love resurfaced.

  • What is Andrew Wiggins’ ceiling? That’s really a big part of this question when it comes to trading him.

    Some say that he could be like Durant or Lebron or Jordan or Kobe or someone along those lines. I for one just don’t see it. He’s not that type of offensive force. He has the tools to be a good offensive player, but I don’t foresee him ever being a 25 ppg guy. I could be wrong. Of course, there’s a lot of disagreement among NBA guys about what his ceiling is.

    I look at Andrew Wiggins and I see the potential for a Scottie Pippen type of player - superb defensively, with enough offense to carry a team in short bursts, but not the type of guy that can carry you for months at a time like a Durant, Jordan or Kobe.

    For a more contemporary comparison, I actually would look at a player like Indiana’s Paul George. Another tremendous defensive player who has some skills offensively as well. Unfortunately, Paul George is also somewhat limited by the fact that his ball handling is not quite elite enough to make him a great driver in the NBA, which means he doesn’t get to the FT line much (only about 6 times a game this year, which was a career high). That lack of FTs means he has to make a lot of FGs, and as a non post player, that means a lot of contested jumpers have to fall. His FG % has settled in around 42% the last two years as he’s become more of a scorer precisely because some of those jumpers are not going down. I think Wiggins will be similar. When he gets his jumper going, he can go for a ton like he did against West Virginia. On the other hand, he can disappear for long periods if he can’t get those good looks because he can’t get to the paint at will like Jordan or Kobe or Lebron or Durant.

    Not to say that he won’t be a good NBA player. I just comp’ed him to one of the 50 best players ever (Pippen) and a two time NBA all star (George). If he lands in that range, he’s definitely a success. I’m just not sure you don’t trade a guy with that ceiling for an in his prime Kevin Love.

  • Banned

    @jaybate 1.0 you know in all the if’s and but’s, proven vs potential, what could be, what couldn’t be and what will never be. You my friend may have hit the nail on head. Here I am making a mountain out of a mole hill. When really it’s about shoe companies duking it out. LMAO.

  • @justanotherfan Another really good analysis.

    I think a more accurate question here is what is the probability Wiggins reaches his ceiling? Or put another way, how close can he get to his ceiling? Because to me, his ceiling is more or less set. It’s not on a sliding scale. I think his ceiling is that of either a Kobe Bryant, or as you said a Scottie Pippen. The height of one’s ceiling is largely defined by one’s physical gifts, athleticism, & physique. Because for the most part those are the things that can’t be taught or learned. Almost everyone can be taught the mechanics of a good jump shot, or improve their basketball IQ. Andrew has the physical tools that extend his ceiling about as high as anyone short of LeBron. I don’t think that’s really in question. Speed, length, quickness, vertical, etc. He has it all. If you were constructing an ideal NBA 2-guard, physically he’d look an awful lot like Wiggins.

    I think Wiggins’ ceiling is probably closer to Pippen than Kobe because of something else that I think defines the height of the ceiling, and that is a killer instinct (for lack of a better term). That was one of the few questions about him at KU, and one of the bigger questions regarding him going into the draft. Does he have that killer instinct, that alpha mentality? I don’t know that he does, and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen someone develop that at the NBA level. He’s competitive, which is part of it, but few players have that utter loathing and hatred towards their opponents like Jordan, Bird, & Kobe did.

    So again, the real question to me is how high can he get to his ceiling? Can he improve upon the things that would elevate him from perhaps someone of Paul George’s stature (great comparison by the way), to that of a Pippen or even a Kobe? The two areas that he needs to improve upon the most to approach his ceiling are his ball handling and jump shooting.

    Who knows what the best path is for Wiggins to maximize his talents. I’ve been of the belief that playing in Cleveland would be better because he wouldn’t have the pressure of having to be “the man”. But there is no one true path to greatness. Look at Kobe, drafted out of high school and wasn’t a starter until his 3rd year. Averaged only 15 mpg his rookie year. Or look at Jordan and how many years he had to struggle carrying the Bulls to mediocre team success before finally breaking through in '91. Look at Durant’s rookie year in Seattle when he shot 43% from the field and 28.8% from 3.

    There’s no one true path to greatness. Here’s to hoping Wiggins can find his, wherever it may be.

  • @icthawkfan316 nice write! Killer instinct, so you either have it or not? Keep thinking that Wigs is only 19. Body will fill out, shot will get better, handles will improve. I think w/physical growth, experiences (good or bad) and knowledge, a person can develop a killer instinct. Jmo!

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    FWIW, in the lats game he played in Vegas he hit 15-20 free throws, which would appear to indicate he has become a lot more aggressive.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I’ve been watching the summer league. I think Wigs is more aggressive, but will develop that killer instinct in time! Trying to figure what’s going on w/EJ. He hasn’t been listed at all the last 2 games. Can’t figure out why TT and Josh can’t even get a shot for summer league. Tarik’s been pretty solid, a few TO’s. Heslips been scoring like he’s playing us!

  • Banned

    Crimsonorblue22 and JayHawkFanToo I’m not sure being aggressive and having a killer instinct are two in the same. Having a killer instinct is not something you acquire. It’s kind of like running faster or jumping higher than anyone. It’s like a gift. There are many players that have had the killer instinct but not the tools. It can go both ways.

    A player with a killer instinct is never afraid to take the winning shot. In fact they demand to. They have the ability to sense that very moment when the opposing team is about to quiver and give up, and in that moment deliver the final blow.

    A player with a killer instinct doesn’t just want to dunk on you, they want to attend your family reunion and dunk on your whole family. Sadly this could be the very thing that’s keeps Wiggins from attaining his ceiling. Yet who knows maybe he has it, just hasn’t had a reason to show it yet?

  • @DoubleDD nice point! I agree they are different, but he does want that shot at the end of game, think WV game. I do think w/age, or experience, for sure w/me, you develop an edge. I want him to have that! What jhawk over the last few years, would you say has that killer instinct? Just curious? Tarik is playing now.

  • @DoubleDD

    While I generally agree with your characterization, there is a fine line between having a killer instinct and being a selfish player or ball hog. A selfish player will take the last shot, regardless of how easy or difficult it is, while the player with the true killer instinct will find a teammate under the basket and make the pinpoint pass that allows the teammate to score the easy basket and win the game.

  • Banned

    @Crimsonorblue22 And JayhawkFanToo very valid points. If I had to think of a recent KU player that had a killer instinct? Man that is a tough question. We could almost start a new tread on that one. If had to pick one I guess I would say S. Collins. Dude was never afraid to take it to the hoop, and always wanted the ball in is hands. I will say this I think maybe Selden might have that killer instinct too. Good question.

  • @DoubleDD TRob for sure! Have to think on this. For sure Collins!

  • @DoubleDD

    Why would adidas want their marquis endorsement player playing in Lebron’s Nike shadow? Doesn’t make a lick of sense?

  • Banned

    @jaybate 1.0 as usually you’re the voice of reason. It’s just Minnesota? How can I root for Minnesota? I read a rumor though. The person predicted Lebron would go back to the Cavs, and Carmello would resign with the Knicks. So far so good. His last prediction Phil Jackson would trade Carmello for Wiggins? Is it possible? Can I dream? OH wait tell me the Knicks aren’t a Nike team? Please? Please?

  • @DoubleDD

    Interesting stuff. I didn’t even realize Phil was with the Knicks. From Nike’s POV, burying Wigs in Tundraville might make good tactical and strategic sense. And Melo and Lebron would make a much better transcept type team than Love and Lebron would make an in-out type team.

    On the other hand, NYC media could be very tough for Wigs to grow up with as an NBA PLAYER. The best trade off of market size and market friendliness would be a Texas franchise.

    But there are risks any way. The best thing for Wigs is to get with a great coach/organization ASAP. Wigs’ posse got him to Self. My guess is they will get him to a great NBA COAC/organization setting too. Phil certainly qualifies as a great. The Knicks were great once and could be again.

    Good diamonds can’t look their best without good setting!

  • Banned

    @jaybate 1.0 Phil Jackson isn’t coaching the Knicks he’s the president. I totally agree on Wigs to a Texas team, however he is from Canada?

  • @HighEliteMajor and has won what?

  • The reason LeBron only signed a two year deal is the fact the NBA is signing a new TV deal in two years and he hopes he can get an even larger paycheck at that time. He now will be able to negotiate a better contract in two years and also has the choice to opt out after one season to renegotiate next summer. Player options only can come before the final season of a contract, another reason for the two-year deal. The TV component is important and valuable. The NBA and players share basketball-related income (BRI) at a near 50-50 split, and TV revenue is included in BRI. The higher the BRI, the more money for players. Also don’t be surprised if James negotiates and re-negotiates max deals that are shorter in length for the next few seasons. The players and owners have the option to terminate the current CBA after the 2016-17 season, which could lead to another change in maximum contracts.

    Now why would the Wolves agree to the Cavs trade when the Warriors have a much better package??

    ####Cavs are offering Wiggins, Bennett, Brendan Haywood, and next years first rounder (which would be a late first rounder since Cavs + Love = big things…) So really you’re getting Wiggins (unknown prospect), Bennett (failed his first year, may get better, may not), Haywood (UNC alum that hasn’t amounted to much), and a border line second rounder. Throw in the fact that Wiggins hasn’t signed his contract and it’s not sure if the dollar signs will match up. To make this deal work the Cavs would either have to add Tristan Thompson to the pot or seek out a third team to make the money all equal out.

    The Warriors have a deal of ####Barnes, Lee, and Thompson for Love and Kevin Martin which works money wise without much additional wrangling (aside from whether the Wolves would demand the Warriors’ 2015 draft pick). With Barnes, Lee, and Thompson you’re getting three players that you know about. None are prospects. Thompson, Lee, and then Barnes were 2, 3, and 4 in team scoring last year. And Lee was second on the team in rebounds.

    Now I know the Wolves have been a very bad organization the past decade or two, but are they so inept that they can not to see that 3 starters (Barnes/Lee/Thompson) out weigh 1, maybe 2 starters (Wiggins/Thompson if he’s included).

  • @drgnslayr I will second your wish that Andrew wind up with SA. Don’t know how long Pop will be there, though. Could Self become Spurs coach at that point?

    How long could Minnesota control Andrew’s future if he is traded? Could he be a RFA after 3 or 4 years?

  • @EdwordL : Rookie contracts are 2 years, with the 3rd and the 4th year being team options.

  • @Bwag What has Wiggins won? Wiggins is what is called an “expectancy” … like the money one might get from a grandparent when they pass away. It’s not yours until it is. Wiggins isn’t anything yet. Love is.

    What would you call Wiggins if, before age 25, he put up Love like numbers?

  • @HighEliteMajor

    HEM, no question that Love has awesome numbers, but you need to put the numbers in context. Not taking anything away from him, but his stats are partly the result of playing for the Wolves, where he is not “one” of the options, he is “the” option and the alpha dog/woolf, and if you watch him play, you will see him jump over teammates to get rebounds to pad his stats.

    Like in real estate, location, location, location; where you play makes a big diference. Remember how many times it has been written in this board that players like Andrew White would be starters with big numbers at other schools, but he could not get meaningful minutes at KU? How about Royce Wooldridge? At KU he got walk-on playing minutes but at Washington State he was second in minutes, averaged almost 10 PPG, including a 36 point outing, and led the team in assists and steals. Look at Chris Bosch’s numbers; he was averaging Love-like numbers in Toronto but his number went markedly down at Miami playing with LeBron and Wade. Again, where you play and who your teammates are makes a huge difference. How good would Karl Malone had been without John Stockton setting him up?

    In Cleveland he will be playing with LeBron and Irvin, who much like Love, are not shy about taking shots and they will not defer to Love like his teammates did In Minnesota and he will not be jumping over Varejao and Thompson either. Unlike Ricky Rubio (9.5 PPG, 8.6 APG) at Minnesota, Irving (20.1 PPG, 6.1 APG) is not a pass-first type of point guard and he will take his fair share of shots. What do you think the chances are that Love will maintain those averages if he moves to Cleveland? IMHO, extremely small.

    Again, there are two sides to every issue and while Love is a great player, I am not convinced he is the difference maker he is portrayed to be. He might well end up being like Dwight Howard and the Lakers, good individual numbers but a disruptive player that resulted in poor team numbers…or he could be like Shaq and help Cleveland win several rings. It really is a crapshoot.

  • @JayHawkFanToo - Part of this is explaining away Love’s dominance by playing on a crappy team. If he is “the” man – “the” option – can’t that also make it hard to produce, thus being “the” focus of the other team? It can go both way.

    But I really like your Bosh comparison. That might cause some pause, and supports your theory there. The point guard thing is interesting too.

    Coach K said this of Love – “I’ve coached him on two teams, and no pun intended, I love Kevin Love,” he said. “You look at LeBron, and you have the best player in the world. He’s 29, I’m not saying he’s at the end of his career, but he’s in the second-half of his career. And in the first half of his career he was becoming a great player. It took time, just like with Andrew Wiggins, it takes time. LeBron is a great player right now, you do not want to waste any year of a great player’s career. Love is close to being that. He’s not as great a player as LeBron, but he’s there. You know who Love is right now.”

    When you say “crapshoot” – to me, it seems like Wiggins, Bennett and a first rounder for Love is worth the gamble given you have Lebron. Best shot, % wise, to win now.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Keep in mind that in the NBA is strictly man to man, so unlike college, you can’t really double or triple team a player…if you do, you will be killed by the other players. Remember that every player in the NBA is an elite player compared to the total population, so while some are better that others, even the lesser players are pretty darn good.

    The other point is that Love is going to come at the max. salary of about $22M. To accommodate his salary, Cleveland will have to shed at least 4 players including Wiggins and Bennett who are on their rookie contracts and making around $5M. The end result will be like Miami, a team with 3 super stars, a couple of role players, has been (Lewis, Hasslem), bidding time 'til retirement (Allen, Battier), never were (Old man Oden) and former/current druggies/screw-ups (Anderson, Beasley); obviously the lack of bench was exposed in the playoffs and they were taken to school by San Antonio and its deep bench.Miami has gotten some good players to replace LeBron, and it might end up being as good as the previous team, definitely more balanced and maybe even better.

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