Well, the worst-kept secret in the NBA finally became reality August 23 when the Timberwolves pulled the switch and traded All-Star Kevin Love to Cleveland. As it turned out, the Timberwolves traded more than just Love.
The deal involved three teams: Minnesota, Cleveland and Philadelphia. Who got the best of the deal? As always, everybody is happy, and if you listen to them — Minnesota, Cleveland and Philadelphia — all say they did well. I say we will see; that’s what time teaches us.
For long-suffering Timberwolves fans, nobody buys into hope like Minnesota. Eleven years in a row the Timberwolves have been doormats. They have not seen the NBA post-season in better than a decade.
The Timberwolves get Andrew Wiggins, the NBA’s number-one pick, Anthony Bennett and Thaddeus Young. Cleveland gets Love and Philadelphia gets Alexey Shved and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.
It’s ironic that all three teams missed the playoffs last year. However, Cleveland signed four-time NBA MVP LeBron James away from Miami, so Cleveland is thinking beyond making the playoffs while the other teams, Minnesota and Philadelphia, are betting on the players they received fitting in and becoming future stars.
Now, on paper this looks like a promising deal for Minnesota. They have the NBA’s last two number-one overall picks plus a veteran forward, Young, who has averaged 17.9 points a game. Flip Saunders is now the new coach, and he signed off on this deal when Love told Glen Taylor he wanted out.
Don’t get me wrong. I love excitement, and I believe in the opportunity in taking risk. The Timberwolves gave up one of the NBA’s top stars for potential future stars. It’s called give and take.
The Timberwolves might have the NBA’s next Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Derrick Rose — who knows? Saunders will have to make this work. He’s a good coach and knows the game inside and out. Timberwolves fans, get excited for watching two young stars, Wiggins and Bennett, playing together with the sky being the limit.
Along with the excitement ahead for the Timberwolves, let’s hope that excitement means a return to the true measuring stick: the playoffs!
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.
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