Now that the Cleveland Cavaliers have brought LeBron James back, they will likely be switching their focus from developing young players, like the last two number one overall picks, Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins, to winning a championship as soon as they can. That is why they have been connected to Minnesota Timberwolves’ power forward Kevin Love with Wiggins as the potential return.
Larry Coon of Basketball Insiders believes the Cavaliers must have promised James they would be in “full-out win now mode.”
If I’m David Griffin, it’s a tough call. If LeBron is there, he’s in “win now” mode (especially with a two year deal), and Wiggins will need development time. The other thing is error bars — any draft rookie has a bell curve of probability for where he might end up — he could develop into a franchise player, but it’s also possible he never fully develops into what you’d expect. Love is more of a known quantity — the error bars are much, much smaller. You’re trading a degree of uncertainty for certainty.
Here’s my guess — in order to get LeBron back to Cleveland, they had to assure him they’d be in full-out win now mode, which means Griffin’s hand is pretty much forced in a trade like this.
James averaged 27.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 56.7% from the field, 37.9% from three and 75.0% from the charity stripe last season.Wiggins averaged 17.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocks per game for the Jayhawks last season while shooting 44.8% from the field, 34.1% from beyond the arc and 77.5% from the free throw line. Wiggins was ranked as the top prospect in the draft by Jonathan Givony of Draft Express .