Cavs need to give LeBron what he demands and Wiggins what he deserves

VIDEO: GameTime discusses latest Love rumors

HANG TIME SOUTHWEST — Let’s stop referring to Andrew Wiggins as the No. 1 Draft pick. He is the No. 1 trade chip, and until further notice, it is all he can be.

When the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 6-foot-8 rookie swingman wrapped up the Las Vegas Summer League last Friday with rumors swirling of his inclusion in a potential deal for Minnesota’s Kevin Love — a disturbingly silent figure in all this — Wiggins was asked if LeBron James, the re-crowned King of Cleveland, had hit him up with a phone call, connected via Skype, through text, a follow on Twitter, liked him on Facebook or perhaps sent him a selfie on Instagram.

After all, a full week had passed since the King penned his love letter to Northeast Ohio and, ostensibly, became the wide-eyed Wiggins’ dreamy teammate.

Wiggins only smiled and said he’s been busy and surely LeBron’s been busy, too, before telling how awesome it would be to grow up beside the King. Apparently James has been busy working in the shadows. Last week he reportedly reached out to Love to extol the virtues of Rust Belt living. But there was no reach-out to Wiggins, no welcoming him into the Cavs’ booming No. 1 Draft Pick Club, no welcoming him to his hometown — “hey, check out the cribs in Shaker Heights” — no “get to work fellow prodigy, see you soon.”

LeBron’s first-person essay in Sports Illustrated was certainly warm and heartfelt and, it was assumed, sincere. But less than two weeks since it exploded on the Internet, the shine of his sentimentality has worn thin. LeBron’s strategy off the court is becoming as calculating and cutthroat as it is on the basketball court.

He signed only a two-year contract, a business decision we are told he smartly made in order to reap maximum annual earning power in line with the league’s projected salary cap increases with each season. In two years the league’s television contracts expire and the NBA is expected to land monstrously lucrative new network deals. That’s in two years, which makes James’ opt-out after next season — the leagues first revolving free-agent superstar? — just a bit curious.

In his essay, LeBron stated his affinity for becoming a mentor, for the time-honored process of growing a championship team, unlike the ready-made one he joined four years ago in Miami: “We’re not ready right now. No way,” James wrote of his current Cleveland cast. “Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. My patience will get tested. I know that.”

In actuality, Love’s trade demands had the alarm bells blaring on LeBron’s patience the moment he committed to Cleveland. He’s made it clear to owner Dan Gilbert what he expects. He expects Love.

This is all about James’ expectations, if not his demands. It’s his show now. Four years after he bolted town as the villain through a trail of flaming No. 23 jerseys, he valiantly returned home a hero again. This time he’s ensuring that if the ship doesn’t sail it will be Gilbert left holding the wheel.

James’ behind-the-scenes power play for Love, plus his short-term contract — interpret it as you wish — are the first shots fired as he seizes control as CEO. The King knows his return to the Cavs has already generated millions in new revenue for the fortuitous owner, both within the organization and for Gilbert’s private ventures. As a perennial free agent, James darn well knows he can shut off that spigot at any time, and this time the fans’ ire will point sharply in Gilbert’s direction.

After all, what more could James do?

The Cavs will reportedly sign Wiggins to a contract this week. That doesn’t mean the 19-year-old will be off the table. It only means he can’t be traded for 30 days. It doesn’t put a moratorium on front-office negotiating.

If James wants Love, as it appears he staunchly does, Cleveland needs to do the deal already and avoid the risk of Golden State reconsidering its stance to include Klay Thompson or another team making a run at the three-time All-Star and double-double maestro (as Chicago is reportedly doing).

That wouldn’t be a good start with James as he wields the mightiest hammer in all the league.

So give James what he demands. And give Wiggins, left twisting now nearly one month since Draft night, what the No. 1 Draft pick deserves — a team to call his own.


  1. nikhil says:

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  2. rules says:

    a kick in the balls ?

  3. tom says:

    I predict Love to only Play 50 -55 Games in 2014-2015 Season, Injuries and Not Reliable. Keep what you have then LBJ can win Championship now and even at a old age where otherwise he would be retired like Ray Allen but lots more

  4. somehtinsomethin says:

    Cavs didnt have lebron so they draft andrew wiggins to fill a void that has been there since lebron left. but with lebron coming back it cancels out the need for wiggins. they play the same position, plus they now have the starters they need except at the four. they dont have a consistent power forward. someone they can depend on or at least develop immediately into a solid player. yes tristan and anthony are good players but neither have star potential neither averages a consistent double double.
    there is no gurantee that wiggins can ball against the stars in the league now. that takes time to see and develop. trading him as well as either anthony or tristan only benefits the cavaliers. they are more prepared for a championship run.
    besides these next two years will most likely be lebrons last as the best or one of the best. his last chance to be the core to win a championship. he needs a core that he knows and players he can depend on.
    they may be good young players but we all no that lebron is only getting older. his two year contract says hes wants his next rings now in cleveland. he wants the pieces around him that enable him to be the leader and that allow the team to develop under his leadership and the maturity of the veterans that they have brought in. you dont bring in jones and miller and potentially allen saying that u are trying to develop a team. though grateful for more time to play the game, you dont ask ray allen not to retire to develop a younger two guard. you bring in ray allen to come off the bench and teach a young two guard how to shoot and how to win a championship.
    sending wiggins to the wolves allows him to become the star he wants to be, the go to guy that he wants to be. his true potential would never show playing with lebron and the vets. he would be playing out of his natural position and he wouldnt get as much ball time as he would like. not only that but it conflicts with trying to develop cant develop both players at the same time. there just wouldnt be enough time in the ball game. not with lebron jones miller and allen. someone would be going on happy and it affects the morale of the team.
    trading for love the cavs would have a team that could develop and grow together without really jeopardizing the starters. with enough success lebron and love come back again and win a couple or a few championships together.
    going anywhere else for love means he jeopardizes his possessions his playing time without knowing if he will win a championship. going to the cavs means continuing to build a hall of fame career while competing in the playoffs for a championship.
    bringing in love decreases conflict with playing time and increases the run at numerous titles. in the end all parties win.
    besides if the cavs dont bring in love and they dont win or do well lebron will likely leave when his contract allows. because thats his choice. he wants rings and he wants rings for his home. the fans want rings and the staff in cleveland want rings. right now giving lebron what he wants is giving all of cleveland what they want and what is in everyones best interest.
    yes its upsetting thinking that a team that drafted u is already willing to draft u, as a player and a fan. but in the end its whats best for everyone.

    best case scenario – love goes to cleveland, wiggins goes to wolves, smith goes to wolves, pistons get budinger (potentially) and/or draft picks, (pistons dont really need a three with butler and potentially possibly pope moving to a three so dratt picks would be better and they get to keep monroe and satisfy him by moving smith.

    the pistons are looking to move smith and smith going to the wolves with with wiggins mean the wolves get a good four and a future star at three while keeping all there other important pieces in tact. while the pistons can decide whether all of there free agents gambles and siginings will payoff allowing them to reach the playoffs.

    all parties would likely benefit, both the cavs and the wolves would go for the trade for sure the wolves would have nothing to lose and the cavs would have all they need. the wild card is the pistons having someone to replace smith at the three or at least getting enough value in turn.

    the trade needs to get done so everyone can settle into there roles on their teams and be prepared for the year and what is to come.
    waiting for a trade and the uncertainty of it can affect a teams morale and chemistry its better for all teams to be situated at the beginning of the season so they can know what to expect and know what needs to be done to achieve the greatest success possible.

  5. no name required says:

    man what cavs need to do is to let wiggin trained under lebron..then they can win championship..what I saw in wiggins is the same way I saw oscar robertson..

  6. Tyheer Isaac says:

    Lebron knows what he is doing. He know what it takes to win a championship,and lebron is not in the NBA for people too like him he’s in there doing what he loves.

  7. drew says:

    Lebron just needs to learn some patience. Cleveland is an excellent position right now. No need to trade wiggins for Love when you can go after him in a year and you will have the cap room to do it. Play for a year with these young guys, develop some chemistry. You’ll likely make the playoffs cuz the East hasn’t gotten that much better. Get these guys some playoff experience and next year make your move for another big free agent and title push. (i try not to hate lebron cuz his basketball skills are very impressive, but as person it’s hard to like the guy when you keep seeing stories like this).

  8. xquach says:

    They gave Lebron Anderson Varejao, Boobie Gibson, and Shaq because that’s who the king wanted. How about we let management build the team, and Lebron focus on the court?

  9. 80Guitarguy says:

    Lebron is a punk. I’ve always supported him and given him the benefit of the doubt, but it’s repulsive the way he throws his weight around. He doesn’t deserve to win any more rings.

  10. Just make the trade already!!!

  11. HMA says:

    It is a very good possibility that both Tristen Thopmson and Wiggins may end up go home and i mean HOME without signing an extension with their teams specially after how they are being treated by their teams.

  12. Antonio says:

    Here’s my take on everything Cavs need to just keep what they got with or without Love they won’t win the championship next year. They are a year or two away from winning anyways. Yeah snatching up Love gives you a chance to get to the Finals this year sorry but I still think Indiana, Chicago or Washington will beat them in a 7 game series (including LOVE!!!). So in my opinion they should just hold pat for next year and gel together then bring another big name or 2 during off season. Has anyone looked at 2015 free agents very nice M. Gasol, L. Aldridge, T. Chandler just to name a few.

  13. thespectator says:

    the big question with wiggins is…no one knows what hell be like down the road for you wait for him to become an elite player while lebron loses more years of his prime or you get the already stable pieces now and build around lebron and win the title within the next 2 seasons? the cavs and really lebron has to be thinkin about that…if the decision is ultimately up to lbj..i think wiggins is sent to minnesota.

  14. for the team says:

    I think a three team trade with the pistons wolves and cavs being a great opportunity for the three teams sending josh smith and wiggins to the Wolves Kevin Martin and Anthony Bennet to the Pistons and Love to the Cavs yes there would be other pieces in their to make it work but i think all teams would benefit Wolfs get who they ready want in Wiggins and a chance for Josh Smith to start at the 4 again and do some work Pistons have a lot of guards they could let go of some young guards and get a vet in Kevin Martin since they have no true 2 guard just a bunch of combo guards and they get a untapped talent with AB if they work with him. Cavs get Love who they really want BAD and a few back up guards behind Kyrie and Waiters in reserve and give Wolves and Piston those non-guaranteed contacts to would make other moves for their organization i know the Pistons are trying to resign Monroe could give them some working room. Just a thought

  15. for the team says:

    I feel at the end of the day its a team sport and to be an all around team to compete consistently so you need front court production and back court production. i would hate to see wiggins go but Cavs don’t have a consistent front court Offense K-Love yes he rebounds and he can shoot the 3 but the main reason Cavs want him is because he makes u have to watch him every play which can create a lot of space on the floor and make other guys not named LBJ or Kyrie better by limiting the help. look how the wizard came up by added Gortat and have Nene down low yes Nene is not a 20 and 10 guy like Love is but he was consistently creating opportunities down low and gortat the energy of pick and roll basketball basketball and offensive rebounds same style of Varejao and and those two working down low meant wall and beal didnt have to carry the team i think its not something fans want to see as they want to keep future big names in town but Lebron only got about 2-3 years left f being on top because they are a lot of young talent coming up to take his spot its better for the players and the organization as a while to maximize winning chances right now you dont bring in mike miller, james jones, and ray allen for one and two year deals to build a team you bring them in to win now

  16. Fred says:

    If defense wins championships you are not going to do it with Love and Kyrie since they are both as inept as James harden on defense , Wiggins on the other hand is not a defensive liability and is a plus defender , Stick to Wiggins and forget Love since offense is covered with Lebron , Irvin and Wiggins get some more defense for PF and C

  17. cp10 says:

    Spurs 2-peat?

  18. WigClev says:

    Cleveland should trade Lebron for Love instead… lol

  19. WigClev says:

    Cleaveland should trade Lebron for Love instead… lol

  20. .......... says:

    I am a big fan of Lebron since his rookie season. But I would absolutely hate him if he does demand Wiggins to be traded for Love. All that talk in his easy about things will take time, being a mentor and having patience is just lies if its true he want Wiggins to be traded for love. Wiggins will be great fit in the back court with Irving since Irving lacks defense.

  21. J4CK Nicholson says:

    I hope that Cavs will stick with Wiggins. He’s going to be a great SG alongside LeBron (or will Bron stun Wigg’s growth?). If Kevin Love really wants to be with the Cavs he’d rather let the season finish and just sing with them (If he can veto any trades). They can offer Bennett, Waiters, Thompson and/or draft picks instead.

  22. Michal says:

    Look, Cavs got LBJ, Kyrie, Wiggins, Bennett, Waiters, Mike Miller and a strong bench. Why in earth do you need another 3-point shooter if you have Mike Miller and by the way I think all of those guys are quite good at 3-pointers. Rebounds? Well do you want to say that if they won’t have Kevin Love they will be very poor at at rebounds?? There is always someone who will rebound the ball it isn’t that big of a matter. If Lebron gets that young roster into his hands, he can leave in 2 years and they will still be at the top. Wiggins is very good but if his mentor, idol and one of the best to play the game,LBJ will be his trainer too, oh you’ve got a superstar right there. Let’s even say that Lebron doesn’t stay after that second year, you still have all those other guys and there will be new players too. But why for crying out loud would he leave when he see’s the potential of this team. But why do you need Love if he didn’t do anything with the Timberwolves if you’ve got Kyrie Irving who has almost got Cleveland to the playoffs after just his 3rd year in the NBA and then you’ve got LBJ and a potential third leader and a great, Andrew Wiggins. How did D’Wade get where he is? because he trained with great players and mentors! That’s why I think the Cavs should not change the squad more and start training for the season.

  23. ToneYou says:

    Lebron doesn’t want to keep Wiggins in Cleveland, they have the same position and it’s more likely Wiggins will play lesser minutes on the court. With LBJ, that rookie man won’t be ROY for sure. If Wiggins would go to MT, chances for ROY is bigger. But I would love to see 4 first picks to play together. =)

  24. clark says:

    it make sense also if you sent wiggins and bennett to Toronto for De Rozan and Valencianus..fair deal,,but Toronto will restart

  25. YungMussuBlack says:

    Who are you to say this? It’s Wiggins’s career.

  26. Ricky says:

    This is one of the reasons I do not like lebron. They are willing to part with wiggins just because his say so wow! When did he become the boss of Cleveland?? What if all the players didn’t want lebron I bet they’ll trade every person on the roster.. If they trade wiggins to get love what if lebron leaves again or get hurt. Now who do they rely on love who play little to no d or kyrie whose is a point guard can’t do alone.

  27. Bro says:

    LeBron’s handlers penned the essay to make the story appear genuine and heartfelt. The team he built and surrounded himself with in Miami should have lost three of the four finals they appeared in. The smack down by the Spurs, the constant “not one, not two..” being hurled back at him, made getting out of Miami a necessity to save face. But he still has not been humbled. This demand for Love, if they land him, still will not win a finals. Love and Irving will be lost deferring to Lebron, as were Bosh and Wade. I pity the coach who has never dealt with NBA sized egos. LeBron’s greatness is his undoing. Imagine if Peyton Manning had gone to Denver and said I want you to swing a trade for Adrian Peterson and Megatron and so and so? Great players lead the way, but the greatest players do it within the concept of a team.

  28. ill stay with wiggins forget about love if he wants to join king james, all he got to said is the only team i want to sign is with the cavaliers, because if that happends he wont get trade it no where else. and the timberwolf would only have the offer that cavaliers are giving them bennet and waiters..

  29. Simon says:

    I am not a fan of the Miami formula… trying to build an instant championship contender. Kyrie, Lebron and Wiggins are all legitimate CAVS… straight from draft picks. Wouldn’t it be legendary to build a championship team from these draft pick CAVS. I think Lebron and the CAVS team should take this as a challenge. It makes winning all the more meaningful and rewarding.

  30. NBAfan says:

    Any team with Lebron, Kyrie, AND Love is not a rebuilding team, it’s already built. Wouldn’t this be Miami 2.0, with Kyrie as the new Wade, and potentially Love as the new Bosh? Sure, they will need time to “gel”, but that comes with the territory when you revamp your starting squad…that’s not rebuilding!

    Lebron, you are the best basketball player of your generation (sorry Durant)…your fans are still hanging on how you brought your CLE team back then to the finals….like I’ve always said on these blogs, one championship with CLE done the “right way” would make you a saint and etch your name in basketball history.

    Oh, just go back to 23…but then, you have jerseys to sell and you’re very business minded…..but I don’t think you should be #6….Go 32 maybe?

    • squala96 says:

      Please man, don’t even compare Love to Bosh. The Wolf is a legit shooter and rebounder extraordinaire, something the former Raptor is trying to be. Chris is paid mega money to punch below his weight.

      While I do agree that Kevin should go to a better team, it shouldn’t be the Cavs. Let the returning James, along with three fellow first overall picks run the team (in the hope that Bennett finally shows).

    • gg says:

      dude, it already IS miami 2.0

      just look at all the ex miami players lbj is drafting to cleveland or trying to get to come to cleveland. Basically he just wanted to dump wade and bosh and keep a lot of the role players

  31. Ed Coughlin says:

    Flatly trading wiggins AND Bennet for Love is insane. First love will be a free agent in a year or two at roughly the same price. You will never get wiggins at only 4-5 million dollars ever again. People are paying 5 mil a year for ok players like Shawn Livingston and terrible ones like Jared Dudley. Even rookie wiggins is light years beyond his cost. This is true though a little less so for Bennett. But big men are rare, how many people Cavs included have paid tens of millions for the mere possibility of Bynum? That’s not because there are too many quality bigs.

    So you are losing in effect Wiggins, Bennett and a third 5 million dollar level player (which considering the play with lebron discount will likely be pretty good) for one Kevin Love. Then you can bet Love asks for max money then you have three max players in Lebron, Love and Irving…who are you going to suround them with when you have no cap space? Them plus a bunch if vet minimums and role players? How’d that work for Miami last year?

    Rookies especially in year 2 and 3 are flat out the best deals in basketball, to overpay a vet and lose out on that value is insane.

  32. Craig G says:

    Imo The smart thing to do would be to get Greg Monroe this season and keep Wiggins. Monroe is very skilled for a big man who rebounds well and unlike Love his rebounds are not put backs from his own misses.

  33. Nick says:

    Sounds like complete speculation. Now I’ll speculate: who WOULDNT want a player on their team who averages over 26 pts, 12.5 reb and 4.4 ast per game? Who else besides Lebron himself fills out a stat line like that? KD? He’s not for sale.

  34. Lance says:

    Hey give lebron Kevin love and keep wiggins and the caves,lebron still choke next year..another cav year lol

  35. A.J. says:

    No, what’s “bizarre” steppx is that there are so many naive people and media following this that are as out of touch with reality as you.

  36. A.J. says:

    You’re just now figuring out that he didn’t write that thing in Sports Illustrated, and that it was entirely a PR decision, a marketing decision, and a power decision? If you guys in the media would cut the sappy feelgood narrative garbage, the readers, listeners and watchers would be a lot better off.

  37. Hak of howard says:

    Love should sign with houston has like 50m in cap space lineup:


    6man nick johnson. Bench cannon dmo jones Daniels adrien Covington Garcia beast

  38. let wiggins stay in cleveland and let him become a superstar

  39. TheKush says:

    I’d love of Love to be with the Cavs too but I’d be hesitant to do the trade. Business wise I’d just wait to sign him up at the end of next season! I doubt the Cavs would win it all this season with Love – and next season everybody’s going to go after Love and if the Cavs don’t at least go to the finals with Love chances are he might go to L.A which is where I think Russell Westbrook might go if Jim Bus can smarten up by then.

    Even if Wiggins turns out to be trash I’d still want to see him in Cleveland for three years! If I were Cleveland I wouldn’t do the trade but I’d also explain to LeBron in detail why “we” shouldn’t do the trade now. Love will be available next season and if I were him I’d rather play in the eastern conference anyway. If I’m the cavs management I wait and go after him aggressively at the end of next season! The only way I do the trade is if the timberwolves will take the OTHER Canadians and leave Wiggins out of it – Sell them on it Dan Gilbert sell it to them good!

  40. chalice says:

    I actually enjoyed the article. I think it gives an insight that hasn’t been touched upon a lot (the curious player option after one year for Lebron). I do think Wiggins deserves more than he’s getting as a no. 1 pick and if he gets to go to Minny, I wish him the best. The only thing that hasn’t been brought up is that even if Love is traded, doesn’t he become a free agent next year anyway? So if Love will gets to choose who he wants to play for next year regardless of who gets him now, why not wait and if the Cavs (and LBJ) want Love, they can get him as a free agent next year. Maybe I’m missing something??

    • MJ#23 says:

      That would be a smart option..but the Cavs cant afford to sign Love outright once he becomes a free agent (alot of teams will be offering love a Max Contract) and the Cavs already have two players in Lebron and Kyrie at the max a third would distroy their salary cap. Will be interesting to see how it plays out.. but this is why i think they are leaning towards doing the deal.. as Lebron is 30 now do you really want to wait two to 3 years for wiggins to develop…and chances are slim he will be able to get to where love is now anyhow while lebron is still in his prime.

  41. harrythehawk says:

    Wiggins deserves to play w LeBron James but then again he was a bargaining chip from the get go. You can’t win championships with all rookies. LeBron knows this.

  42. Chuck says:

    Do you think Lebron might quit and join the Spurs if he doesn’t get his way? The way LBJ is once more trying to stack the deck really makes me want to see him fail badly, and never get another ring. You can be sure if the Heat won last year, and improved its roster he would be still in Florida.

    • Steve says:

      So the Lakers didn’t try to get Melo nd LeBron? The Bulls aren’t trying to get Love? The mavericks didn’t try to get Melo? you’re accusing him of something every team does. You sound ridiculous. Oh, the Rockets didn’t go after Bosh? Right nd I guess the Thunder didn’t try to get Gasol?

    • genuine30096 says:

      “You can be sure if the Heat won last year, and improved its roster he would be still in Florida”. Notice I placed that in quotations marks. That’s a direct quote from the comment of ‘Chuck’. 🙂

      ‘Chuck’, surely you are not blaming the man for not wanting to remain with a team that never “improved” throughout the four years he was there. Rather, the team declined … the wobbly knees of one of their ‘Big 3’ players (‘resting 30 games of the regular season and STILL didnt show up for the Finals) and only adding veterans (and I do mean VETERANS) for the minimum.

  43. steppx says:

    This is a stupid article. Really. Even for caplan. The idea that somehow this is going to be a team that LeBron gets to determine every direction for is nonsense. And if that actually happens, it will be a disaster. Unmitigated disaster. But that Caplan co signs this madness is truly bizarre.

    • Michael says:

      Amen brother. If Cavs trade Wiggins and he becomes a Michael Jordan type player in Minnesota, you will hear Jeff Caplan blame Gilbert for caving into LeBron’s demands. Just report the news, don’t take sides, or you may end looking silly like you do now for choosing a side. Relax and enjoy.
      LeBron must play with Wiggins one year and then see what Love is saying. Don’t rush this thing.

      • A.J. says:

        An NBA career is finite, James is turning 30 in a few months, and James has billions of marketing dollars at stake. He doesn’t have the time nor the inclination to “enjoy.” The move to Cleveland was a pure PR and business decision, and this is a surprise only to the hundreds of millions of people that lead a Peter Pan existence.

      • ko0kiE says:

        @AJ. it will be a poor PR and business decision if he doesn’t win a ring in cleveland…