Now that the world knows LeBron James will return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the door has been opened for Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love to be traded.

Love reportedly told Minnesota that he won’t sign an extension with the team and intends to opt-out of his contract next summer, leaving head coach and team president Flip Saunders with a difficult decision. He can either let Love walk for nothing next summer, or get something in return for the superstar in a sign-and-trade.

Before the Cavaliers and James agreed to team up again, the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics appeared to be the most likely landing spots for Love. However, Love was reportedly open to a move to Cleveland if James was there.

Minutes after James announced to the world that he would return to the Cavs, reports quickly hit Twitter about Love winding up in Cleveland.


By adding Wiggins to the mix, the Timberwolves would be getting almost equal value for Love, albeit in the form of an unproven pro player. Before Cleveland took him No. 1 in the draft last month, Wiggins garnered comparisons to James thanks to his elite athletic abilities and NBA-ready body, but as of now the former Kansas star’s value strictly lies in his untapped potential.

Boston can offer Minnesota as many as four first-round draft picks, but the Wolves have thus far turned down any overtures from Celtics president Danny Ainge, according to the Boston Herald. The Celtics could offer a package of picks and point guard Rajon Rondo, but its unlikely Rondo would want to continue is career in Minnesota. There also have been no meaningful talks between the Wolves as Celtics, the Herald stipulates.

Golden State appeared close to offering the Wolves forward David Lee and emerging star shooting guard Klay Thompson for Love and guard Kevin Martin, but the deal was shelved before the draft. The San Jose Mercury News points out that while Thompson is certainly a growing star in the league with the potential to be one of the best shooters in the game, he will be a restricted free agent after next season and Minnesota will likely have to match an offer of $15 to $16 million a year should Thompson sign a restricted offer sheet with any other team next summer.

Minnesota can stand pat and wait until Boston, Golden State, Cleveland or any other team offers them the best package for Love right up until the trade deadline in February.