Timberwolves officially trade Kevin Love to Cavs
The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has acquired Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Thaddeus Young and a trade exception in a three-team trade between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers. In exchange, the Wolves will send Kevin Love to Cleveland while sending Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Alexey Shved to Philadelphia. The 76ers also received the rights to Miami's 2015 first-round draft pick from Cleveland in the trade.
"Kevin joining the Cavaliers represents a very special and unique opportunity for our team. At only 25, Kevin has already firmly established himself as one the NBA’s elite players and his talent, versatility and fit are major parts of our team’s vision for success,” said Cavs General Manager David Griffin . “We want to also wish Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett the best as they will continue the start of their careers in Minnesota. They are both outstanding young men that have great potential on the court and long, very successful careers ahead of them.”
Voted as a starter for the Western Conference in the 2014 NBA All-Star Game, Love appeared in 77 games (all starts) for Minnesota last season and averaged a career-high 26.1 points on .457 shooting, including .376 from beyond the arc and .821 from the foul line, 12.5 rebounds and a career-high 4.4 assists in 36.3 minutes per game. Among NBA leaders, the 6-10, 243-pound forward ranked first in double-doubles (65), first in defensive rebounds per game (9.6), third in total rebounds per game (12.5), fourth in points per game (26.1), tied for fourth in triple-doubles (3) and tied for eighth in three-pointers made (190). In 2013-14, Love became the first player in NBA history to record 2,000 points, 900 rebounds and 100 three-pointers in a single season, while also setting Minnesota’s franchise record for three-pointers made in a season, points per game, and free throws made (520) and attempted (633).
Love is the first player to average 26/12/4 over a full season since the NBA/ABA merger as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bob McAdoo had most recently accomplished that feat in 1975-76. He also scored in double figures in all 77 games last season, which includes 57 games with at least 20 points, a Wolves’ franchise record 25 30-point games and six 40-point performances. He collected a league-leading 24 contests with at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, and possessed the third highest PER in the NBA at 26.97, behind only Kevin Durant (29.90) and LeBron James (29.40).
Over his six-year NBA career, Love has played in 364 games (282 starts) for the Timberwolves and owns career averages of 19.2 points, 12.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 36.3 minutes per game. He is a three-time NBA All-Star (2011, 2012, 2014), two-time All-NBA Second Team selection (2012, 2014), Olympic gold medalist (2012) and winner of the league’s Most Improved Player award (2011) and Three-Point Shootout (2012). The UCLA product was selected to the All-Rookie Second Team in 2009 after being the 5th overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies. He has averaged at least 14 points and 11 rebounds in five of his six NBA seasons and since entering the league, his 12.2 rebounds per game is the second-highest in the NBA (Dwight Howard, 13.3). Since 1980-81, Love is one of only three players to have at least two seasons with 26.0 points and 12.5 rebounds (2011-12, 2013-14), joining Shaquille O’Neal (4) and Moses Malone (2). Love will wear #0 with the Cavs.
"We are excited to add three young, talented and athletic players to our team in Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and Thaddeus Young," said Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders. "With the additions of Wiggins, Bennett and Zach LaVine this summer, we have brought in three exciting young athletes who all have the potential to have an impact in this league. All three of them complement each other very well and we believe they will be foundations of our team for years to come. In Young we are getting a proven NBA player who is entering the prime of his career. Our fans will enjoy watching these exciting players this coming season and beyond.
"I appreciate all that Kevin, Luc and Alexey have done for our organization and wish them the best of luck with their new teams."
"I want to personally thank Kevin Love for his six seasons with the Wolves,” said Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. “On the floor, Kevin has worked hard to make himself a great player in the NBA. He also made it a priority to give back to the community through his Coat Drive and numerous other charitable endeavors. He represented the state of Minnesota well during his time with us and we wish him nothing but the best in Cleveland. I also want to thank Luc and Alexey for their contributions to the team and wish them well in Philadelphia.
"I am truly excited to welcome Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and Thaddeus Young to our team. Adding these young players, along with our No. 1 pick from this year, Zach LaVine, to our existing squad gives us a solid nucleus for the future.”
Wiggins, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft, comes to the Wolves after a historic season at the University of Kansas. The 19-year-old set Jayhawk freshman records for scoring average (17.1 ppg), points (597), field goals attempted (422), free throws made (176) and free throws attempted (227). He scored a freshman-record 41 points at West Virginia becoming the first Kansas player to break the 40-point mark since 1991. Born in Toronto, Canada, Wiggins enjoyed a prestigious preps career, earning the Naismith High School Player of the Year and Gatorade Athlete of the Year across all high school sports in 2013 as a senior at Huntington Prep School in Huntington, West Virginia. Wiggins, a 6-8 forward, appeared in four games with the Cavaliers in 2014 NBA Summer League, averaging a team-high 15.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.3 steals per game. With today’s trade, Wiggins becomes the first No. 1 overall pick traded before making a regular season appearance with the team that drafted him since Chris Webber in 1993 (traded to Golden State by Orlando).
Bennett, a 21-year-old forward from Toronto, Canada, was selected with the No. 1 overall pick out of UNLV in the 2013 NBA Draft. In doing so he became the first Canadian-born player to ever be drafted first overall (Wiggins became the second a year later). Bennett averaged 16.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game for UNLV in 2012-13, including connecting on 53.3% from the field and a team-best 37.5% from three-point range en route to being named the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year. As a rookie in Cleveland last season he averaged 4.2 points and 3.0 rebounds in 12.8 minutes per game, appearing in only 52 games due to a variety of injuries and illnesses. Bennett appeared in four games with the Cavaliers in 2014 NBA Summer League, averaging 13.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
Recent players selected No. 1 overall include NBA All-Stars Anthony Davis (2012 – New Orleans), Kyrie Irving (2011 – Cleveland), John Wall (2010 – Washington), Blake Griffin (2009 – L.A. Clippers), Derrick Rose (2008 – Chicago), Dwight Howard (2004 – Orlando) and LeBron James (2003 – Cleveland). Over the last 20 years, No. 1 overall selections have combined for 68 All-Star Game appearances, 50 All-NBA selections, eight Most Valuable Player honors and seven Rookie of the Year awards.
Young, a 26-year-old forward, has spent seven seasons in Philadelphia after being drafted by the 76ers with the 12th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. Last season Young averaged a career-high 17.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.1 steals, becoming the first player to average 17+ points, 6+ rebounds and 2+ steals since Caron Butler in 2007-08. He tallied 30+ points four times this past season, including back-to-back games from Dec. 21-28, after topping 30-points just twice in his first six seasons. Young holds career averages of 13.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game over 516 career games (294 career starts).
Love, a 25-year-old forward, was originally acquired by Minnesota from the Memphis Grizzlies, along with Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal and Jason Collins, in exchange for the draft rights to O.J. Mayo, Antoine Walker, Marko Jaric and Greg Buckner on June 26, 2008. The three-time NBA All-Star averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and a career-high 4.4 assists per game last season for Minnesota en route to earning a spot on the All-NBA Second Team, the second such honor of his career. Love has averaged 19.2 points and 12.2 rebounds per game in 364 games (282 starts) over his six-year NBA career.
Mbah a Moute, a 27-year-old forward, was originally acquired by the Wolves from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Derrick Williams on Nov. 26, 2013. He appeared in 55 games with Minnesota, averaging 3.3 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. A six-year NBA veteran, Mbah a Moute holds career averages of 6.3 points and 4.9 rebounds in 399 career games (240 career starts).
Shved, a 25-year-old-guard, originally signed with Minnesota as a free agent on July 25, 2012. He averaged 4.0 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists over 63 games off the bench for Minnesota last season. The 6-6 guard owns career averages of 6.5 points and 2.5 assists in 140 games (16 starts) over two seasons.
Wiggins will wear No. 22 for the Wolves while Bennett will don No. 24 and Young, No. 33.