The Minnesota Timberwolves secured the final piece they wanted in a blockbuster Kevin Love trade.
A person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that the Timberwolves will receive Philadelphia 76ers power forward Thaddeus Young as part of the deal that will send Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The person requested anonymity because an official announcement has not been made.
The Wolves agreed weeks ago to send Love to Cleveland, where he will team up with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving to make the Cavaliers an instant favourite in the Eastern Conference. The Cavs agreed to send No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins of Vaughan, Ont., former No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett of Brampton, Ont., and a 2015 No. 1 draft choice they obtained from Miami to Minnesota to land Love, but Wolves President Flip Saunders and GM Milt Newton immediately went to work to try to get the 76ers involved in the deal as well.
The Wolves have wanted the 26-year-old Young to help them replace Love in the starting lineup, and the teams came to agreement on Thursday to make that happen. Young averaged a career-high 17.9 points last season and gives the Wolves another athletic player to put around point guard Ricky Rubio. He also gives the young team another veteran presence in the locker room.
Young had two years and more than $19-million left on his contract, but he can become a free agent after next season if he chooses.
The rebuilding Sixers will get guard Alexey Shved and forward Luc Mbah a Moute from the Timberwolves and Miami’s No. 1 pick next year from the Cavaliers in the deal, which will not be officially announced until Saturday when Wiggins becomes eligible to be traded.
A seldom-used NBA rule prevents any rookie from being traded for 30 days after he signs his rookie contract.
Shved and Mbah a Moute are entering the final year of their contracts, which gives the 76ers sought after financial flexibility going forward as GM Sam Hinkie continues to gut the roster in an effort to build a long-term winner over the next five years. Mbah a Moute also has a close relationship with Sixers rookie Joel Embiid and could provide a nice mentor for the young big man while he sits out the season because of a foot injury.
The Timberwolves were expected to introduce Young, Wiggins and Bennett on Tuesday at the Minnesota State Fair.