Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love will likely find himself in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform once the two sides are able to finalize a deal that includes the rookie contract of Cavs No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins later this month.
We use the term “likely” instead of imminent due to a recent report that suggests the NBA could block a potential deal if it learns that love already has a five-year extension in place with Love prior to the deal being finalized.
In what could be some rather big news, ESPN is reporting that if the two sides come to some sort of a handshake agreement that Love will opt out of his contract in 2015 and re-sign with Cleveland, the deal could very well be nixed by Association officials.
The Cavs were granted permission last month by Minnesota to speak to Love and his representatives in an introductory fashion, sources say, while James and Love have also been in direct contact about their long-term intentions of playing together in recent weeks. But sources insist that no agreement for Love to sign an extension in Cleveland next summer when he can become a free agent is in place.
Under NBA rules, such an agreement would be illegal and, if proven, potentially could be grounds for the league to block this trade and dole out punishment to both teams. The Wolves were infamously sanctioned heavily in 2000 after it was discovered that the club had promised a lucrative future contract — in writing — to Joe Smith, incurring a fine of $3.5 million and the loss of four first-round picks as well as suspensions for owner Glen Taylor and then-GM Kevin McHale.
However, it must be noted that both the Cavaliers and Timberwolves have paid close attention to the rules and have avoided any public comments indicating that a deal is close between the two sides.
Neither side would come close to putting something like this on paper, which would leave a trail. Unless someone from one of the organizations makes a public statement about a potential Love extension between Love and the Cavs, nothing will likely come out of this.
In any event, this is definitely a situation to monitor moving forward.
Photo: USA Today