After much rumbling and maneuvering, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves quit dancing around the subject and finally agreed to a deal: Kevin Love to Cleveland for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a protected 2015 first-rounder. Apparently, the pressure to make the most of every year of LeBron James' prime was too much for him to wait patiently while the younger Cavaliers developed, and there wouldn't be much surprise to see the rest of James' favorite players (Ray Allen, etc) agree to deals with Cleveland over the coming days.
As far as how this affects the Spurs -- who'd have to make it out of the stacked Western Conference before even beginning to think about meeting the Bulls, Heat or Cavs -- there's not anything that ties the news immediately to San Antonio ... except expectations, and publicity. Which brings me to the first tweet I saw after hearing the news about the deal.
So, the Cavs are the favorites to win the title now, huh? pic.twitter.com/w3kNvLGupw— Triangle Offense (@Tri_Offense) August 7, 2014
There's so much contained in, and communicated by, this single image and caption.
First, there's the public persona of Gregg Popovich to play off of. The gruff exterior of the smug expert who suffers no fools gladly.
Second, there's the Spurs' consistent disregard for playing the media game because of their preference for staying under the radar.
Third, there's the attitude that no matter which teams do what makeovers that place them on whomever's list of contenders, that Pop and his team will do whatever necessary to make it all for naught.
So I offer my congratulations to both the Timberwolves and the Cavaliers. May the trade work out well for you and your players. I look forward to seeing Wiggins develop and Love fit in. And I can't wait to see whether the Spurs can make it back to the Finals, and who they'll meet if they do.
Stay tuned for analysis of the trade.