If the Cleveland Cavaliers are to acquire Kevin Love via a trade of No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins, it likely will have to happen after a month.
The Cavs, according to reports, are set to sign the former Kansas star to a contract this week, making him ineligible to be traded for 30 days. Cleveland and Minnesota have been in talks about a deal that would bring all-star Love to join recently signed LeBron James for the potential-laden Wiggins.
The Cavaliers, sources say, are merely exploring options for using their estimated $1.4 million in remaining cap space before signing Wiggins to a contract that will pay him in the neighborhood of $5.5 million as a rookie.
One option under consideration for the Cavs, sources say, is using their leftover salary-cap space to create long-term contracts for recent second-round picks Joe Harris and Dwight Powell. Signing Wiggins first would preclude such moves.
The Cavs’ delay in formalizing Wiggins’ contract has garnered extra attention because of the Love factor, but the reality is that this process is a fairly routine bit of salary-cap management that takes place this time of year with draft picks.
After the Cavs exhaust their cap space and sign Wiggins, they are expected to officially sign free agent Mike Miller to a two-year, $5.6 million deal. The Cavs will be signing Miller with their $2.7 million “room” exception, which can only be used after teams that previously had salary-cap room use it up.
The Cavs also remain interested in free agent Ray Allen, who is being recruited to Cleveland by former teammates Miller and James. But Cleveland will only be able to offer him a $1.4 million veteran’s minimum contract.