(Reuters) - The Cleveland Cavaliers have reached an agreement in principle to send first overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins and former top pick Anthony Bennett to the Minnesota Timberwolves for All-Star forward Kevin Love, according to a report.
Cleveland will also send a protected 2015 first-round pick to Minnesota as part of a trade that was reported on the National Basketball Association’s website on Thursday and cited league sources from an earlier Yahoo! Sports report.
The addition of Love, who would team up with recently-signed four-time league most valuable player LeBron James, would further solidify the Cavaliers as a favorite to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals.
The deal cannot be finalized until Aug. 23, because Wiggins, the centerpiece of the package for Minnesota who was taken first overall by Cleveland in June, cannot be traded until one month following the signing of his rookie contract, the report said.
Bennett, the first overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft, had a rough start to his rookie campaign with Cleveland but improved as the season progressed. He averaged 4.2 points and 3.0 rebounds in 52 games.
According to the report, the Cavaliers are making the deal with Minnesota with a firm agreement that Love will opt out of his contract in 2015 and re-sign with the Cavaliers on a five-year, $120 million-plus contract extension.
Love averaged 26.1 points per game, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists last season for a Minnesota team that went 40-42 and was nine games back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes