If you look, you can find a mixtape of Andrew Wiggins dunking the basketball on Youtube, from when he was 13 years old. He is the son of an NBA player and an Olympic hurdler and he is an incredible, unreal athlete. Now 19, having lived as one of the most scouted NBA prospects ever, Wiggins is about to sign his rookie contract with the Cavaliers – according to the Associated Press.
Wiggins’ professional debut, at NBA Summer League, showed that he is primed to become one of the most electrifying athletes in the NBA, immediately. He demonstrates an effortless ability to elevate his body into the air, exert hang time, and land softly, as though he had made the 44-inch vertical trip many, many times before. This Vine, which captured his baseline spin move and dunk, is something he has been using as an unstoppable tool since high school:
Cavs fans looking forward to seeing this move used in NBA games with Wiggins in a Cavaliers uniform have been watching rumors regarding a possible trade for Kevin Love. Following the shocking decision of Lebron James to return to the Cavaliers, rumors regarding Love coming to the Cavs, which had persisted for months even preceding James return, intensified significantly. Initial reports after the draft concerning the negotiations indicated that the Minnesota Timberwolves were seeking a package of players and future draft picks, including Andrew Wiggins, in exchange for Love.
Love is rumored to have clearly indicated to the Timberwolves that he is not interested in remaining in Minnesota.
One media source, Travis Lee, who is a sports anchor in Portland, Maine, indicated on Tuesday that, “a trusted source in the industry” told him that a trade of Love to the Cavaliers was already complete. If this is true, it would shock the entire league and create a super-team of Kyrie Irving, Lebron James, Kevin Love, and, possibly, the young Andrew Wiggins.
Honestly, if you had told me that the two players in the picture above would both be Cavaliers by the end of July 2014, I probably would have told you to take your medication and called you delusional.
Nevertheless, it appears that we may be headed down that road. A road which would certainly place the Cavaliers among front-runners in the discussion of the 2015 NBA Championship. Writing that sentence, I actually had to pause and go back and read it again. This is an unbelievable situation.
Cleveland sports history is being made, and this last month of transactions are some of the biggest moments in the last 50 years. While speculation regarding what exactly the demands of the T-Wolves are for Love has wavered since the NBA draft, speculation regarding who will be included by the Cavaliers has caused wild debate about whether the Timberwolves would be justified in demanding that rookie Andrew Wiggins be included, and whether the Cavaliers would be justified in offering him.
Initial reports consistently indicated that Wiggins would not be included in any trade scenario. Then, approximately a week ago, The News-Herald / Morning Journal Cavs beat writer Bob Finnan reported that a league source had told him that Wiggins was on the table and could be traded by the Cavs. This same reporter later issued a report that Wiggins was not being made available in trades by the Cavs. It appears that this report is now part of a consistent message in the media that Wiggins is not being offered by the Cavaliers.
WIGGINS DRAFT CARD, PRESENTED BY THE CAVALIERS TO THE NBA
The signing of Wiggins to a contract means that under league rules he cannot be traded for 30 days. However, the Cavaliers could agree to a trade that could not be finalized until the 30 days are over. It remains unclear how a trade made under those circumstances would impact the ability of the Cavaliers front office to made other moves during that 30-day period. During the period between the time when Wiggins was drafted and when he signs his contract, the CBA requires that the Cavaliers maintain a cap hold in salary of approximately $4.5 million. But after he signs, his cap impact is the full value of the first year of his rookie contract, or $5.5 million.
Wiggins, again all of 19 years old, has been a consummate gentleman and complete professional in handling the trade speculation that followed him through the three games he played at the Las Vegas Summer League. He never complained, no one from his family or his camp was heard to have complained on his behalf, he followed head coach David Blatt’s instructions as a key player on offense and defense, and he fully exerted himself, foiling pre-draft criticism that he was often disengaged and not aggressive enough.
His dunk, shown above, was the offensive highlight of the entire Summer League, but this defensive play, a chasedown block, may have equaled it.
It is possible that the signing of Wiggins is the first dot that needs to be connected to deducing that a trade for Kevin Love that does not include Wiggins is underway. With Cavaliers fans hungry for playoff-basketball and a return to title contention–and with Love possibly finally availing himself of a chance to play for a contending team through trade–retaining a transcendent athlete like Wiggins required first that the team sign him to a deal.
However, it is also possible that Wiggins has now been signed because the cap hold does not count as salary in a trade for Love, where salaries for exchanged players will have to match up within 80 percent and where the $5.5 million that Wiggins will count for under his rookie contract will help facilitate the trade. It certainly seems reasonable that the timing of the signing of Wiggins’ contract will be related to the Love trade one way or another. And if the Love trade is truly already done, then perhaps we’ll know any moment now.
Photo of Wiggins at Summer League by W.G. Ramirez, Special to NEOMG
Original source of vine of Wiggins baseline move unknown the other vine was someone taping NBA TV.
Draft card photo found at nbatitlechase.com
Picture of James and Love from dime.com