Minnesota Timberwolves superstar forward Kevin Love is expected to join the Cleveland Cavaliers via trade later this month.
The Timberwolves and Cavaliers reportedly have an agreement that will send Love to Cleveland in exchange for the last two No. 1 overall draft picks, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, as well as a 2015 first-round selection.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein, the league is monitoring the Love situation, and could possibly block the trade if there are violations of the collective bargaining agreement.
“The Cavs were granted permission last month by Minnesota to speak to Love and his representatives in an introductory fashion, sources say, while James and Love have also been in direct contact in recent weeks about their long-term intentions of playing together,” Windhorst and Stein report.
While Love reportedly told the Cavs he would re-sign with the team next summer for five years, $120 million, sources told ESPN that no such agreement is in place.
“In addition, under NBA rules, such an agreement would be illegal, and, if proven, it potentially could be grounds for the league to block this trade and dole out punishment to both teams,” ESPN reports.
Proving that an agreement exists for a long-term contract between Love and the Cavaliers likely would be difficult. With that said, we have seen the NBA take action in the past.
The league last blocked a trade in 2011, when the New Orleans Hornets — currently the New Orleans Pelicans — tried to send superstar point guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers. New Orleans, which was owned by the league at the time, eventually dealt Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers.
A Love-to-Cleveland trade cannot become official until Aug. 23, the earliest date that Wiggins is eligible to be traded.