Yesterday, we brought you news that a Kevin Love-to-Cleveland deal was “done but not done.” The Timberwolves and Cavs “have agreed, but they can’t say they have agreed and they can’t agree.” That’s because Andrew Wiggins can’t technically be traded until later this month.
We heard a few weeks ago that the Love deal was an “when, not if” situation, but hearing this report from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst should confirm it, right?
Reminder: ESPN completely and totally botched the LeBron decision (2014, undercase). Sports Illustrated scooped the Worldwide Leader so bad, ESPN’s reporters were forced to stare at their phones, live on the air, and go, Yep, okay, we look like assholes:
Again: It wasn’t that ESPN got beat to the story. It’s that they had spent the past several weeks reporting every little rumor and whisper as “reports” from “sources,” including a completely false assessment that Dan Gilbert’s Comic Sans letter was still standing in the way of LeBron going back to the Cavs, mere hours before the SI story dropped.
Broussard was the most shameful of the ESPN bunch (and got eviscerated for it), but nearly every talking head employed by the network — Windhorst included — showed that they were painfully out of the loop in regards to LeBron’s thinking.
So now we’re going to take an unconfirmed word from ESPN, again, as fact?
Here’s who we haven’t heard from regarding any sort of handshake deal: the most trusted name in basketball news, Adrian Wojnarowski. His fellow Yahoo NBA writer, Marc J. Spears, has also tweeted nothing. Ditto David Aldridge. Chris Sheridan says the deal “looks inevitable” but also wondered why there was no story from Windhorst on ESPN.
Here’s a theory: ESPN brass is tired of publishing unsubstantiated bullshit, even from its “respected” writers. There’s no paper trail to lead back to the company in the event that this deal falls through and everyone who says it’s “done” looks dumb, again. Until there are signatures on dotted lines, this is just a rumor, and nothing more.
That’s not to say Love to Cleveland won’t happen. It very well could, as the Wolves appear to have no choice but to deal Love and the Cavs will deliver the best haul. But don’t consider anything a done deal until the parties involved — or, at the very least, Woj and company — say so. ESPN is no longer a trustworthy source.
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