Cleveland – You Will Regret This

Wiggins

Oh what could have been…. source: nesn.com

Even though it’s not official, it’s official – Andrew Wiggins, along with Anthony Bennett, have been dealt to the T-wolves for Kevin Love. A no brainer for Minnesota, since they were losing Love to free agency after the upcoming season. But what about for the Cavs?

Offensively, Cleveland unquestionably improves. Love is transcendent on that end. He stretches the floor 30 feet from the basket (38 3FG% last year), a luxury James has never had from a power forward teammate. His post game is sublime. His rebounding is unparalleled – at 6’8, he’s averaged at least 12.5 boards per game in the last four seasons. He also grabs a historically high percentage of all available rebounds.

But losing Wiggins has a massive, two-pronged effect. Prong number one – though his offensive capabilities have been doubted, the consensus is he will be an elite defender. The combined defensive versatility of two 6’8 freak athletes would be devastating, especially in today’s NBA where guard play rules the day. The subsequent prong is the easy baskets that would result from the terrorizing D. Before Dwyane Wade lost his legs, Miami was so lethal because of its ability to get out on the fast break and massacre the rim. In the 2014 playoffs, no such buckets were available, which caused Miami to rely on a half court offence that was not up to snuff. Kevin Love is glorious in the half court, but he doesn’t provide you with free points.

If the trade were only possible in a one year vacuum, you take Love. But, assuming a five year peak-power LeBron, Wiggins could quickly develop into the perfect compliment to James on offence, as well as a shutdown defender. Love will never become the latter.

In acquiring Love and losing Wiggins (and Bennett, but to a lesser degree), you’ve simply taken a ton off the table defensivelyWhether or not they made the trade the Cavs did not have great rim protection, but now they don’t have that extra guy to prevent the penetration that would necessitate a great rim protector  (though they made a sneaky-goodv acquisition in Shawn Marion, who will provide some of that afformentioned defensive flexibility).

I don’t blame the Cavaliers for making this deal, especially since it seems LeBron required it if he was going to sign with them.

I’m pumped for this combination of unique offensive forces. But they’re not getting past any Western Conference opponent with their voluntary dispossession of defence and easy hoops.

 

  1. Dean says:

    Plus, team Canada has been dismantled…

    Sweet article Andy!

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