Kevin Love to Cavs in place

It’s the worst-kept secret in sports, and now details are leaking out about the trade of Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers that will be announced later this month. Compensation will include Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a protected 2015 first-round draft pick. Minnesota will not be able to unload the J.J. Barea, Luc Mbah a Moute or Alexey Shved contracts in the deal. Also, Love will reportedly opt out of his contract in 2015 and re-sign with the Cavaliers with the terms including a five-year, $120 million-plus contract extension. I’m assuming this is just a verbal commitment, which could of course unravel, though it’s very likely Love will keep that commitment.

This will give the Cavs the next NBA “big-three” combo of Lebron, Love and Kyrie Irving, with young talents like Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson complimenting them along with veterans like Mike Miller and possibly Ray Allen. The only piece missing is a rim protector, but the Cavs have plenty of assets to make more moves.

It’s a calculated risk for the Cavs, and the fans in Cleveland are split a little on this one, as many want to see Wiggins develop into a superstar in Cleveland. But these opportunities rarely present themselves in the NBA, and the Cavs would be foolish to pass on Kevin Love. With Indiana facing a down year after the tragic Paul George injury, the path to the Finals in the East may be pretty easy for the Cavs. But you can’t take anything for granted in the NBA. It will take time for these three stars to mesh, but if they do this team can be a powerhouse.

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Lebron James flop?

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau got hit with a $35,000 for suggesting that Lebron James flopped the other night after being shoved by Nazr Mohammed. Anyone who reads this blog knows I’m not a fan of traitor Lebron, but that claim is pretty ridiculous. Mohammed shoved Lebron out of the blue, and I’m not at all surprised that he naturally fell backwards. Thibodeau should have been fined.

That said, Thibodeau’s strategy versus Lebron is brilliant, even with some execution issues like Mohammed’s stupid shove. The idea is to get into Lebron’s head, and frankly Lebron had a bad game but was bailed out by his teammates. It may not lead to a Bulls win since they’re so overmatched, but with Lebron you have to challenge him physically and mentally as we’ve seen him wilt many times before both when he played for the Cavs and in 2011 with the Heat.

Of course, Lebron can also rise to the occasion and make you pay for it, but leaving him alone spells certain defeat for most teams. It’s playoff basketball and you have to challenge Lebron and hope he suffers a meltdown or at least starts altering his game.

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