It’s not Aug. 23 yet, but the details of the three-team Kevin Love trade are already starting to trickle down.
According to Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press, the Minnesota Timberwolves will likely acquire Thaddeus Young in their blockbuster deal with the Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers when the deal can be made on Saturday. The Sixers will receive Alexey Shved, Luc Mbah a Moute and a 2015 first round pick from the Miami Heat that the Cavs acquired from the LeBron James sign-and-trade.
Educated guess for Saturday: CLE gets Love, MIN gets Wiggins, Bennett, Young, PHI gets Shved, Moute, CLE #1 (from MIA).
— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) August 21, 2014
As reported by Star Tribune writer Jerry Zgoda, the Wolves will also retain Anthony Bennett in the deal. The Cavs, of course, are getting the big prize here in Kevin Love, but Minnesota has also amassed an impressive haul for their three-time All-Star by nabbing Young and the last two No. 1 draft picks in Bennett and Andrew Wiggins.
There is some risk involved here, however. Though Mbah a Moute has never developed an offensive game, his defensive veteran leadership would have been useful on a young team like the Wolves. That first round pick would have also gone to Minnesota in the Love trade, so Flip Saunders is essentially giving up Mbah a Moute and that pick for Young.
Although Young’s a very.talented power forward who had to suffer through an unbearable tank campaign in Philly last season, he’s also an unrestricted free agent next summer and may choose to walk away from a rebuilding project, even with Wiggins and Bennett still in tow. Young averaged a career high 17.9 points along with 6.0 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game last year, though those numbers might have been inflated because he was essentially the best player on a team full of D-Leaguers.
Good for Minnesota for hanging on to Anthony Bennett over one year (and an almost definite exit) of Thad Young. — Brad Rowland (@BTRowland) August 21, 2014
For the Sixers, the deal marks another baby step in Sam Hinkie’s 35-year rebuilding plan. Shved has been largely underwhelming through his first two seasons and after averaging 8.6 points and 3.7 assists per game as a rookie, he took a major step backward in 2013-14, averaging just 4.0 points and 1.1 assists per game as his minutes were chopped in half. Mbah a Moute averaged 3.3 points and 2.2 rebounds in 14.7 minutes per game with Minnesota last season and won’t move the needle at all for the tanking Sixers.
If you’re a Philly sports fan, this has to be disappointing news. Not only are the Sixers losing their best player from last season, but they’re also only getting back a (likely) late first round pick instead of Bennett. Though he mostly had a horrible rookie season, Bennett came back looking healthier and quicker this summer and impressed at the NBA Summer League. Then again, it’s not a terrible trade either, and hey, Mbah a Moute and Shved! Step down off that ledge, Sixers fans, your time will come!