For the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Kevin Love soap opera is finally over. The Timberwolves traded Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a 2015 1st round pick from the Miami Heat. Then the Timberwolves traded the Miami draft pick, Alexey Shved and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute to the Philadelphia 76ers for Thaddeus Young.
This could not have ended up any better for the Timberwolves. Once Love made it clear that he wanted to play for a different team this year, many people speculated that the Timberwolves would have a lot of difficulty finding a good deal. However, now that the dust has settled from the storm of rumors and false reports, the Timberwolves have ended up with a proven power forward in Young, while also ending up with two players picked first overall in the NBA draft in Wiggins and Bennett.
Losing Love is of course terrible for the Wolves as he is one of the best players in the NBA, but they have a great building block for the future with this trade. Young is a good, experienced player to take over the power forward position and is still pretty young at 26. Wiggins, was the top pick in this year’s draft, has ridiculous athleticism and has the ability to be a truly great player. Bennett had a horrible year last year, but has lost a lot of weight and was significantly better in Summer League this offseason and still has a ton of potential.
There will be growing pains this year, as the team is very young and doesn’t have a lot of proven talent beyond Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic, Kevin Martin and Young. However, the future is bright for the Timberwolves, as the potential from Wiggins and Bennett combined with the potential of Zach LaVine and Shabazz Muhammad provide the Timberwolves with the chance to field a team with multiple star players, instead of just one in Love.
As for what the Timberwolves gave up besides Love, the draft pick in 2015 will probably be fairly low as the Heat still have a good amount of talent without LeBron James, Shved has struggled for the Timberwolves and wasn’t going to get any playing time anyways (as I covered in a previous article) and Mbah a Moute is a solid defensive player who has never been able to score consistently.
It might be hard for Timberwolves fans to take another rebuilding year, but they need to keep in mind that the players the Timberwolves have never had players with the potential that Wiggins and the rest of the Timberwolves’ young players have. Besides nobody knows for sure how well or how poorly any of the Timberwolves players will play this year, so there is no certainty about how well they will do once the season starts. No matter how the season goes though, Timberwolves fans should recognize that today the Timberwolves took a huge step towards success.