Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Andrew Wiggins told ESPN on Sunday morning that he just wants to play for a team that wants him.
The return of LeBron James to Cleveland has put the organization on an expedited “win now” approach, and the talented rookie seems to be the most expendable casualty in their efforts to land another established star. Wiggins has been linked to multiple reports of a potential trade involving him and Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love for weeks.
Wiggins’ name is at the center of trade talks that would send him to the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of a package that would net the Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love in return.
“I just want to play for a team that wants me. So whichever team wants me I’ll play for,” he told ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” from Tarrytown, New York, where he was taking part in a photo shoot for Panini trading cards.
Cleveland signed Wiggins to a four-year deal on July 24, but because of league rules on rookie deals, the Cavs are not able to trade him for at least 30 days.
As the top overall pick in this years NBA draft, it’s hard to imagine how this might affect Wiggins mentally. Transitioning from the college game to the NBA is a learning curve in itself, and all the trade rumors surrounding him certainly can’t be helping. For his sake hopefully this ordeal comes to a resolution shortly so that he can focus solely on starting his NBA career.
According to a report by the Pioneer Press, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor expects a deal to be made for Wiggins sometime before the end of August. Taylor has also made it clear that he wants multiple assets in return for Love.
“I think when you move somebody like Kevin, who’s been an all-star, that you’ve got to get a number of players on your team that have the potential of replacing him,” Taylor said. “Flip (Saunders, Wolves president) has looked at this team and offensively, he’s got a pretty good team. Defensively, it’s got to be better, so I think that’s where some of the areas will be replaced.”
Other News Around The League:
- NBA commissioner Adam Silver says that the NBA competition committee will at least discuss the future of its players competing in international events in the coming months. In the wake of the injury suffered by Paul George at Team USA’s blue vs. white scrimmage , it’s understandable why the NBA would want to protect its stars. While it doesn’t seem likely that the NBA will cease participation altogether from its stars, it is possible that other options will be explored. Marc Stein of ESPN reports: “Without a doubt, basketball has grown tremendously since 1992, when NBA players began playing in the Olympics,” Silver said. “Also, it’s important to note the [improvement] many of our players have made in terms of ability, leadership and passion for the game by playing for their home countries. Injuries can happen any place at any time. The experiences our players have enjoyed by participating in their national teams, however, are ones that are unique and special in almost every other way. At this point, I don’t anticipate a major shift in the NBA’s participation in international competitions.
- Ray Allen is still uncertain if he will be returning to the NBA for a 19th season. Allen has been rumored to be considering the Cleveland Cavaliers as a potential franchise to play with following the lead of former teammate LeBron James. Dom Amore of The Courant reports: “I don’t want to go into a situation where I don’t understand the coaching, don’t understand the direction of the team,” Allen said. “My family is very important in making the decision. Right now, there is nothing that I need to do. If I ultimately decide this will be it for me, I’m content with that.”
- Boston Celtics rookie James Young has reportedly been cleared to play. Young was in a car crash in June shortly before the NBA Draft, and was unable to compete in the summer league due to concussion like symptoms. The news was announced in an interview with Kyle Tucker of The Courier Journal: On missing the summer league: “It was tough for me, because I had a concussion. I got a chance to meet with some of the guys and stuff like that. Great team, great facility, and the coaching is really great. So I had a chance to just walk around and talk to some of the guys about their past experiences and stuff like that. They’re a bunch of great guys.”
Esau Howard is a regular contributor to Sheridan Hoops. You can follow him on Twitter at @EsauTheFirst.