Cavs Coach Dismisses Andrew Wiggins-Kevin Love Trade Speculation
By Jon Krawczynski
LAS VEGAS — Andrew Wiggins came to summer league to get an early education on the NBA game, from playing against better competition to learning about what his new coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers will demand of him as a pro.
The 19-year-old Canadian is also receiving a crash course in the NBA rumor mill.
Since he arrived in Las Vegas and found out LeBron James was coming to Cleveland with him, Wiggins has heard his name brought up in possible trade scenarios as the Cavaliers pursue Minnesota All-Star Kevin Love. They continued with several outlets reporting that the Cavaliers have decided to make the No. 1 overall pick available, a prerequisite from the Timberwolves to get any deal for Love done.
But two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that the Cavaliers’ position has remained unchanged and that no offer including Wiggins has been made to Minnesota. The people requested anonymity because neither team was publicly commenting on trade talks.
“Rumors are rumors. That’s why they call them rumors,” Cavs coach David Blatt said. “Sooner or later in one’s career, you’re going to have to deal with it. If he has to deal with it now, then so be it. It’s summer league. He’s learning everything as he goes along.”
Wiggins scored 21 points in 31 minutes in a loss to the Houston Rockets. He showcased his superior athleticism by creating mismatches and getting to the free throw line at will, making 15 of 20 free throws and getting one jaw-dropping, chase-down block in transition.
Several fans made remarks during the game about the Cavaliers getting Love, but Wiggins was unfazed.
“What you’ve got to like about the kid is that it doesn’t make a difference if it’s the fourth game of summer league in seven or eight days, or if people are keying on him or the crowd has funny things to say to him,” Blatt said. “He goes out there and really plays and has a nice calm about him and a real good demeanor. Andrew’s going to be a high-level player. It’s good to see.”
The Cavaliers and Timberwolves have been engaged in discussions since before the draft for Love, who can opt out of his contract next summer. That stipulation gives Love tremendous influence on where he ends up, and he initially balked at joining a Cavaliers team that appeared to be in rebuilding mode after missing the playoffs and firing coach Mike Brown.
That all changed when James decided to leave the Miami Heat and return to Cleveland, where the Akron native played for the first seven seasons of his career. James’ signing changed Love’s mind about going to Cleveland and the Cavaliers again started conversations with the Wolves.