(CBS) The saga of the Kevin Love trade talks has taken another twist.
The Cavaliers remain in the lead to acquire All-Star forward Love, ESPN.com reported Tuesday, but the Bulls have made a “renewed push” since missing out on Carmelo Anthony in free agency and remain in the picture. On top of that, top draft pick Andrew Wiggins — the trade chip the Timberwolves so desperately covet in all this — will sign his rookie contract with Cleveland soon, the Associated Press reported, meaning he couldn’t be traded for at least 30 days, per NBA rules.
In other words — these trade talks could play out for a while longer.
Given the market and Golden State’s reluctance to date to include guard Klay Thompson in any trade package, Wiggins remains the most valuable single asset that Minnesota could acquire in any trade. For that reason, Chicago will remain on the outside looking in unless something changes. The Bulls’ trade package for Love isn’t fully known but would be centered around Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler, plus other assets, ESPN.com reported.
The Bulls’ hope would be that Love refuses to commit to re-signing with the Cavaliers on a long-term contract. If that was the case, the dynamic would change, as Cleveland would likely be reluctant to include Wiggins. As it is, the Cavs are “increasingly optimistic that they are progressing toward a trade framework that the Timberwolves will accept,” ESPN.com reported. The Cavs are reportedly working on a trade package centered around Wiggins, 2013 top draft pick Anthony Bennett and a future first-round pick.
The Cavaliers have desired Love ever since LeBron James decided to return to Cleveland, wanting to take advantage of the superstar’s prime years on an otherwise young team.
Because he can opt out of his contract next summer, Love holds more leverage than usual in these trade talks. Teams will be unlikely to part with quality assets if they don’t get a long-term commitment from him.