NBA: Cavaliers and Timberwolves set for Love-Wiggins deal
LeBron James and Kevin Love won Olympic gold medals together. They're about to team up again, this time to try and end Cleveland's 50-year championship drought.
Love will soon be on his way from Minnesota to Cleveland after the teams reached an agreement in principle to a trade that will send the All-Star forward to the Cavaliers for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a first-round draft pick, two people with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Thursday.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because no official agreement can be reached until Aug. 23, when Wiggins, this year's No. 1 overall draft pick, becomes eligible to be traded.
By that point, the deal could be expanded to include a third team, according to one of the people familiar with the talks. The Timberwolves have had discussions with the Philadelphia 76ers about acquiring forward Thaddeus Young to help fill Love's shoes. The Wolves could use the first-round pick they get from the Cavaliers to help entice the Sixers to part with the 26-year-old Young, but talks continue on that front, the person said.
For now, the deal will unite Love, James and All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving in a new-look "Big 3" in Cleveland and give the city's long-suffering sports fans realistic chance to celebrate a first title since 1964, when the Browns won the NFL title.
The Love-to-Cleveland chatter has been going on for weeks and the teams had been discussing a possible deal long before James announced he was re-signing with the Cavaliers.
OKC forward Durant withdraws from Team USA
Following Paul George's gruesome broken right leg, Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant surprisingly withdrew Thursday in advance of USA Basketball's trip to Chicago next week and the FIBA World Cup in Spain in September.
Durant reached out to coach Mike Krzyzewski and managing director Jerry Colangelo and expressed that he felt "mentally and physically drained" by the recent NBA season and other obligations this summer, according to a statement issued by USA Basketball.
"This was an extremely difficult decision as I take great pride in representing our country," Durant said in the statement. "I know that I owe it to my USA Basketball teammates to be totally invested in the experience. After going through training camp with USAB, I realized I could not fulfill my responsibilities to the team from both a time and energy standpoint."
Mavs guard Felton suspended four games
The NBA suspended new Dallas Mavericks guard Raymond Felton on Thursday for the first four games of the season after his guilty plea in a New York gun case.
"I demonstrated poor judgment and I take full responsibility for my actions," Felton said in a statement released by the Mavericks. "Moving forward I'm eager to get to Dallas, to start fresh and make a positive impact in the Dallas metropolitan area."
The criminal case arose last winter, as Felton dealt with the breakup of his marriage and a struggling season with the New York Knicks.
Former top pick Oden released after battery arrest
Police arrested former NBA No. 1 draft pick Greg Oden on battery charges early Thursday, alleging that he punched his ex-girlfriend in the face during a fight.
The free agent center, who played for the Miami Heat last season, was arrested early Thursday at his mother's suburban home in Lawrence on two preliminary counts of misdemeanor battery.
Oden, 26, was released from custody Thursday evening. Online Marion County Jail records show Oden was released on a $10,000 bond.
According to a Lawrence police report, officers were called to the home at around 3:30 a.m. and found a 24-year-old woman on a sofa with a swollen, bloody face. A friend of the woman told officers that Oden had "punched her in the face."
The report says the injured woman was uncooperative and told officers she had fallen, but was unable to say when and where that occurred.
Pistons hire Hardaway as assistant coach
The Detroit Pistons have hired former NBA star Tim Hardaway as an assistant coach.
Pistons coach and team president Stan Van Gundy announced the hiring Thursday. Hardaway, a five-time All-Star, averaged 17.7 points during an NBA career that lasted from 1989-2003.