Once upon a time, the Cleveland Cavaliers traded away a youngling named #Andrew Wiggins for a win-now cornerstone player in Kevin Love [VIDEO]. Three years after that trade, the Cavs found themselves tormented by that very same deal. To be clear, Love played a big part in the Cavaliers’ dominance in the Eastern Conference. On the other hand, they could have been so good if they decided to keep Wiggins around.

Point of Contention:

Wiggins could have extended the Cavaliers’ dynasty because of his versatility on both ends of the floor. The former no.1 overall pick possessed the tools - great wingspan and quick feet – to be a high impact two-way player even during his first year in the league.

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Now, Wiggins is one of the most promising players in the league after averaging 23.6 points and 4.0 rebounds in 2016/17 season. He could have been a nice complementary piece to LeBron James and Kyrie Irving long-term, but the Cavs unfortunately made the deal for highly-efficient but flat-footed Kevin Love.

Backing it up:

It’s all about the Cavaliers’ ability to switch. In the finals, the Warriors exposed the Cavs’ inability to guard perimeter players because they weren’t so much two-way players. In fact, only LeBron James had the capability to make plays on both ends of the floor. Kyrie Irving was a beast offensively (29.4 ppg on 47 percent FG shooting) but he never played consistent defense on Steph Curry.

Then, there’s the Kevin Durant effect. The All-Star wingman simply capitalized his mismatch with Love and Tristan Thompson at the power forward spot.

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Love clearly couldn’t guard Durant one-on-one out in the perimeter, and the Warriors ran the same plays over and over again in the five-game series.

Wiggins isn’t an elite wing defender, at least not yet. However, his length would have provided a level of 'uncomfort' to Durant whenever he jack up a three-point or mid-range attempts. Kawhi Leonard wasn’t an elite lock-down defender as he’s now when he went head-to-head with LeBron and became a difference maker in the second Spurs-Heat finals series in 2014. Wiggins could have been that to Durant.

Author’s Take:

Keeping Wiggins would have made all the sense for the Cavaliers in a long-term perspective as they could have at least have in insurance or someone worthy enough to succeed LeBron whenever he decides to stop playing hoops for Cleveland. The Wiggins-Irving combo post-LeBron era would have been fascinating to watch, but that might never happen in this lifetime. In the end, the Cavaliers bargain their future to win now, and the Wiggins-for-Love deal is haunting them now big time. #Cavaliers Rumors #Cavs free-agency