Trading Andrew Is a Bad Move for the Cavs
Would you trade Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love?
That is the question you’ve probably heard if you’ve so much as been within earshot of a SportsCenter episode in the past week. (Don’t worry, the NFL season is right around the corner.)
“Would you trade Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love?” is also the question that the real Grantland.com (not to be confused with the shameless, rip-off version: this website) posed in a recent “staff shootaround” article.
Mr. Editor-In-Chief himself, Bill Simmons, took the first shot, so to speak. He made some great points (he always does) with his usual witty and scintillating style. (Sorry, did I over-slob his knob just then?) His best point was this:
“What if sending Wiggins to Playing With LeBron Camp turned out to be the greatest thing that ever happened to Andrew Wiggins? What if this single-handedly altered his professional destiny? What if LeBron turned him into his basketball clone, much like Jordan brainwashed Pippen into evolving into his perfect sidekick?
Here’s the point: THE CAVALIERS HAVE TO FIND OUT.”
For this reason alone, the Cavs would have to be crazy not to take a chance on Wiggins becoming the Pippen to LeBron’s Jordan.
Yes, it’s absurdly unrealistic and speculative to believe that some goofy Canadian, with a voice like Urkel, will become the next Scottie Pippen.
In fact, it’s unrealistic to believe that any draft pick is going to become a Hall of Famer. The statistics laugh in that believer’s face.
But Andrew Wiggins doesn’t have to be the next Scottie Pippen (just as much as King James is never going to be the next Michael Jordan). Wiggins just has to be a better fit for the Cavs in the long run than Kevin Love. (Let’s get real, LeBron isn’t coming home for only two years.)
Yeah, Kevin Love is one of the top-10 players in the league right now. He’s an all-world power forward/center who averaged 26.1 ppg and 12.5 rebounds last season.
No other big man can hit the three like Love and he’s Hack-a-Shaq proof—a career 82 % shooter from the line. And, like any native SoCal’er, he’s thinking, “What the hell am I doing in Minnesota?”
Love immediately turns the Cavs from Eastern-Conference favorite to a near-championship lock.
I mean, can you imagine a Kyrie/Love/LeBron trio? Fans in San Antonio are shitting their pants right now thinking about that scenario.
BUT… (there’s always a big ‘ol but)
Kevin Love is never going to be anyone’s Scottie Pippen. He’s going to want the ball—but it’s not his ball to have. It’s LeBron’s.
And after having to do just about everything except mop the court in Miami this past season, don’t you think Lebron would benefit from a pair of young legs to help him on defense? Those are Andrew Wiggins’ legs. Not Kevin Love’s.
Don’t get me wrong. Love is a better player than Wiggins will ever be—he just may not be a better player for LeBron.
If you want to believe that this year’s draft class is the deepest since the LeBron/Bosh/Melo/Wade class of ’03 (and many people do), then how in the name of Dan Gilbert do the Cavs give up on what could possibly be their “next LeBron”? (Metaphorically speaking, of course. There is no “next Lebron.”)
What are they going to do to? Wait another decade for a chance at the number one overall pick in an incredibly deep draft class?
Give Wiggins a chance to play with LeBron, and if he proves to be the next Anthony Bennett, then ship him off for Love to Minnesota in February (the cruelest of punishments).
The Cleveland Cavaliers should play wait-and-see with Wiggins—even if Love is in the air.