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Timberwolves, Cavaliers reach agreement in principle for Kevin Love

The Eastern Conference's LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat takes a shot as the Western Conference's Kevin Love #42 of the Minnesota Timberwolves defends during 2014 NBA All-Star game at the Smoothie King Center on February 16, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisia
The Eastern Conference's LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat takes a shot as the Western Conference's Kevin Love #42 of the Minnesota Timberwolves defends during 2014 NBA All-Star game at the Smoothie King Center on February 16, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisia
Photo by Pool/Getty Images

All-Star forward Kevin Love will be joining LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. After weeks of speculation and a reported hand-stake agreement, the Minnesota Timberwolves have reached an agreement in principle to send Love to Cleveland in exchanged to top NBA draft pick Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a protected 2015 first-round draft pick. Andrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports first reported the news on Thursday.

As previously reported, the deal cannot be finalized until Aug. 23 because of the teams of Wiggins’ recently signed rookie contract. The two teams will pull the trigger on the deal with the agreement that Love will opt out of his contract in 2015 and re-sign a max deal with the Cavaliers. League sources told Yahoo Sports that that deal will be a five-year, $120 million-plus contract extension.

Love will join the Cavaliers and form a new big three with King James and rising star Kyrie Irving. If the Cavaliers weren’t already a contender to come out of the east, they will definitely be a frontrunner to win the NBA championship with the addition of a player like Kevin Love.

The Timberwolves did have aspirations to keep Love, but his outspokenness about not wanting to remain in Minnesota prompted the team to listen to offers. The 25-year-old NBA All-Star drew interest from the Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls. None of those teams could offer the type of package Minnesota wanted in return except the Cavaliers. Andrew Wiggins will be the centerpiece of the deal and give the Timberwolves the type of superstar potential they were looking for in exchange for Love.

Minnesota is also hoping Anthony Bennett continues to show progress in his development. The Cavaliers, of course, are in win now mode. Kevin Love averaged 26 points and 12.5 rebounds last season with the Timberwolves. If he gets anywhere near that next season, the Cleveland Cavaliers will be a tough team to beat once the team takes the time it will need to formulate some chemistry.