Apr 4, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) is pressured by Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) during the second half at American Airlines Arena. The Minnesota Timberwolves won in 2 overtimes 122-121. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland get the Love it wants: how does mega-deal affect Raptors?


Mar 10, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) comes up with a rebound against Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (3) and center Jonas Valanciunas (17) during the second half at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Cleveland 100-96. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Instead of writing about arrogant men in expensive suits doing foolish things, let’s talk basketball. The trade, or The Trade!, was completed yesterday. The details are here; in essence, Kevin Love moves to Cleveland, while Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and Thaddeus Young become Minnesota Timberwolves, and Philadelphia receives a first-round draft pick and two rotation players. Minny gets a trade exception as well.

Even a skeptic like me has to come around to accepting that Cleveland has legitimate championship aspirations now. If the Cavaliers can’t win 50 games or more with LeBron James and Love on its side, something is seriously wrong. While I think NBA teams are always better when their players have been together several years, James and Love have worn the same jersey before. They were prominent members of the US team which won gold at the 2012 London Olympics. These two beasts will be receiving passes from last year’s All-Star Game MVP, Kyrie Irving, a deluxe point guard. Put another way, the NBA’s best player is now teamed with its #5 (Love, who ranks behind Kevin Durant, Chris Paul & ‘Melo) and #10 (Irving, who lines up behind James Harden, Stephen Curry, Blake Griffin and Dirk), and no team comes close to that kind of firepower. The supporting cast isn’t shabby either, and includes Tristan Thompson, Anderson Varejao, Dion Waiters and Brendan Haywood. There’s a pesky guard I’d like to see on the Raps, Matthew Dellavedova, and sweet-shooting veteran Mike Miller. The only thing which can inhibit this team is injuries. Yes, their coach, David Blatt, is an NBA rookie, but his experience is vast. Maybe the NBA won’t bother with the regular season, but just award this team the Eastern Conference title, and skip to the playoffs.

I still think we should play the games. Our team may not have all the glitter of Cleveland (there’s words I’d never thought I’d write!), but the Toronto Raptors are a gathering storm. If talent alone won championships, the San Antonio Spurs would never hoist a trophy. Yet they have four titles since 2003. The Raps have four cracks against the Cavs juggernaut, and I’ll wager right now we’ll win one or more. Don’t fret, Rapture Nation. Despite the front-office foolishness, we’ll be fine.

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