NBA / Aug 7, 2014 / 2:00 pm

Report: Wiggins Didn’t Know About Finalized Trade Until Asked About It

Andrew Wiggins

Andrew Wiggins (Brad Penner, USATODAY)

You’d think the Cleveland Cavaliers would notify Andrew Wiggins of an agreement with the Minnesota Timberwolves to trade him for Kevin Love. But that belief, apparently, is operating under the mistaken assumption that courtesy and basic civility exist in the world that’s kept Wiggins’ career in limbo since early July. According to ESPN’s Tim McCormick, the 19 year-old Wiggins didn’t know the Love trade was finalized until McCormick congratulated him on being dealt to Minnesota.

UPDATE: McCormick has since deleted the tweet in question. Here it is retweeted by Bleacher Report’s Benjamin Cruz:


The NBA is a business first and foremost – Wiggins even supported that notion last week before answering a series of awkwardly pointed questions about a potential Love trade in a live interview on ESPN. But that sobering fact doesn’t make this reality any less ugly.

Everyone knows the rules by now. Wiggins signed his rookie contract with Cleveland on July 24, prohibiting from being officially traded until 30 days later on August 23. The Cavs and Timberwolves had already engaged in serious discussion weeks prior to Wiggins inking his deal. This trade has been in the works since LeBron James announced his return to Cleveland on July 11 and it became apparent the four-time MVP wanted to play with Love in the ensuing days.

We’ll never know why news broke that the deal was finalized halfway between the moratorium on trading Wiggins. The Cavs and Wolves have had its structure in place for quite some time; the only potential hold-up was surely whether or not Cleveland felt comfortable sending a future first-round pick to Minnesota in addition to Wiggins and Anthony Bennett. And even if that really was a sticking point on which David Griffin and company only relented today, that still doesn’t excuse the information leaking if the players involved hadn’t been informed.

Wiggins will be fine, of course. He’s notoriously grounded for a teenage phenom and both of his parents were professional athletes. Wiggins knows the pitfalls of the NBA, and is talented enough to avoid their influence long-term even if he’s simply putting on a brave face and actually being dragged down by them in the present.

But the failure of Cavaliers officials to notify Wiggins that he’s bound for Minnesota is emblematic of just how senseless it is that the moratorium to trade him is still in place. The 30-day restriction on moving newly-signed rookies is well-intentioned – it’s a corollary of the “Stepien Rule” that keeps teams from trading future first-round picks in consecutive seasons. Teams would surely find ways to work around the Stepien Rule if not for the month-long prohibition.

However, it’s only hurting the players and teams involved in this specific trade, and Wiggins is the party most affected. Love is suffering too, though. He’d likely be added to USA Basketball’s group of World Cup finalists if the trade could be officially completed. Instead, Love will be sitting at home – or working out in Cleveland – as his comrades fly to Spain to defend the FIBA gold medal he helped win in 2010.

The Love trade has become far uglier than it needs to be. That’s the bottom line here, and the Cavs’ most recent gaffe only furthers weeks of needless tension, suspense, and misinformation surrounding the talks.

We’re just glad it’s nearly over. August 23 can’t get here soon enough for all of us.

What do you think?

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  • Onaje

    Andrew Wiggins being the last to know about the finalizing of the trade is pretty foul. Also all the whining about how LeBron as a free agent didn’t provide Cavs with a “proper” or “respectful” notice of his intentions to leave goes out the window…as it should.

    Players/Coaches get pulled/pushed/tossed about in all types of manners, but these organizations/owners get pass after pass.

    Some organizations just lack class…their title count proves as much.

  • rich carter

    cavs will regret this move for a long time. within 3 years andrew wiggins will become a better player than kevin love is now.

  • UncheckedAggression

    Within 3 years, huh? That’s actually funny. Wiggins will be lucky to ever reach where Love is at NOW. And it’s not even a knock on Wiggins to say that. Any player would be lucky to get to where Love is at now. Assuming it will happen with any player is problematic.

  • Steep Jaxson

    You rt

  • Steep Jaxson

    You rt bro

  • Shawn Rakar

    It’s not going to matter, either way, Chicago is going to “team ball” the hell out of Cleveland’s “Big 3.” Chicago’s getting a title this season, Cleveland can’t stop them and I don’t foresee any other team in the East beating Chicago to the Finals.

  • CrushDrivels

    lolol crack must be good today. Love is one and done. Cav’s lucky to be .500 with him there. Long term will hurt them. Stupid move cavs stupid move

  • CrushDrivels

    Cleveland will be below .500 next year.

  • UncheckedAggression

    Either you are one of the most clueless basketball minds I’ve ever encountered or you’re trolling. If it’s the former, I wish I knew you in person so I could make that bet about the Cavs record with Love…

    The confidence some fans have in Wiggins is reaching absurd levels.

  • slangin-wisdom

    Cavs want chips now with lebron being so dominant now. There not worried about the future they want developed talent. Good move.

  • slangin-wisdom

    Chicago will always be good. Carmelo was the piece to be great. They can’t fulfill there scoring troubles.

  • slangin-wisdom

    Impossible with how dominant LeBron is right now

  • jhernandez1981

    He ain’t wrong about it being a bad long term move. They’re going to have about 80% of their cap tied up in three players. When the cap moves up in two years Lebron is going to renegotiate for more, KI’s contract will be up around 20 mil a season, and a consistent 25-10 player like Love sure as hell ain’t going to be going for any less than that. Each player will still be eating up more than the rest of the teams entire pay roll. Ain’t winning a ring with what that buys.

  • Walt Vic

    Notify him? Are you serious? Why would the Cavs notify him that he was traded when they can’t officially trade him? And why would you expect/hope Wiggins to bite on a question that might reflect this? You say this is poor business etiquette when what you are asking for is stupid business etiquette. The Cavs will notify him when the time is proper within the league rules. You are asking the Cavs to potentially jeopardize the trade, and you call that a gaffe – wake up.

  • Shawn Rakar

    they already fulfilled their offensive issues. Keep sleeping on Gasol, Mirotec, Brooks, and McDermott. Not getting Melo was the best thing to happen to us because we got to keep our core from the last two season.

  • Shawn Rakar

    LeBron, himself, cannot beat a whole team through 82 games and then the postseason. Irving don’t play “D” too well and Kevin Love don’t play “D” that well either. Last season, Cleveland was ranked 28th in the league for defense, Miami was ranked 7th, and Chicago was ranked 2nd. Chicago retained the majority of their team. LeBron tried dominating in Cleveland and didn’t do too well so he went to Miami. His whole time in Miami, they only got 2 championships, a beatdown to the rookie OKC and a lucky win when playing the Spurs the 1st time around. The Spurs beat Miami so bad, LeBron went back home.

    Dominate, my ass.

  • Shawn Rakar

    with David Blatt, the European version of Mike D’Antoni, I’m sure they will have high scoring games.