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Friday (Credit to Flip if Love/Wiggins deal comes through) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 18th at 11:31am 267660791

saundersWe didn’t really like Flip Saunders’ first draft as Wolves President in 2013, when it seemed as though the team got caught without a plan when dealing the No. 9 pick (Trey Burke) for No. 14 (Shabazz Muhammad) and No. 21 (Gorgui Dieng). But now we’re absolutely in love with Dieng as a player and like the potential of Muhammad as well.

We weren’t sure about all of the free agent moves Saunders made last year — Kevin Martin, Corey Brewer, re-signing Nikola Pekovic — but in retrospect we at least could understand the reasoning of trying to build as good of a short-term roster as possible in an attempt to keep Kevin Love’s wandering eye from drifting too far astray.

When that didn’t work, we were sure the Wolves needed to deal Love before the NBA draft in June in order to maximize his value and expand the number of possible teams in play.

But Saunders, once again, is proving that he deserves the benefit of the doubt — this time in the most important decision of his tenure-to-date. Whether it was intuition that the post-draft, free agency world of the NBA could yield better Love deals — maybe even a hunch that LeBron-to-Cleveland could happen — or whether Saunders stumbled into some good fortune, his patience is being rewarded.

Love to Cleveland for the last two No. 1 overall picks, and perhaps some other assets, is a better deal than we could have imagined possible — not because we doubt Love as a player, but because the leverage in any potential deal feels equally divided between the Wolves, Love and the acquiring team.

Now it’s time to close the deal. We do not care one bit that Golden State is reportedly willing to part with Klay Thompson. This chatter with Cleveland is not to gain leverage in a mediocre trade with the Warriors. The purpose is to make the deal with the Cavs. Put Golden State on some version of eternal call waiting, Flip, and get this thing done with Cleveland.

Our guess is that Flip wants the Cavs deal. He talked post-draft about hitting home runs instead of settling for doubles. The baseball analogy was apt in that he was saying teams like the Wolves need to shoot for franchise players, even at the risk of swinging and missing. The Cleveland deal could be a home run. The Golden State deal, with Thompson, would be a double.

You’ve played everything perfectly so far, Flip. Finish this off, and you will have aced the biggest test of your tenure.

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NY Mets 4 FINAL
St. Louis 5
Pittsburgh 4 FINAL
Minnesota 2
St. Louis 1 FINAL
Washington 1
Boston - LP: C. Buchholz 2 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 4
NY Yankees 10 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
Tampa Bay 0 Cancelled
Baltimore 0
Detroit 1 FINAL
Toronto 4
Chicago WSox 3 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 6
Texas 6 FINAL
Oakland 7
Cleveland 2 FINAL
Arizona 3
Arizona 7 FINAL
LA Angels 2
Miami 0 Cancelled
Houston 0
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 1 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 5
San Francisco 4 Bottom 4th Inning
Los Angeles 3
Colorado 1 Top 4th Inning
San Diego 2
Milwaukee 6 Bottom 4th Inning
Cincinnati 2
Detroit 111 FINAL
Orlando 97
LA Clippers 119 FINAL
Philadelphia 98
Charlotte 107 FINAL
Washington 110
Boston 96 FINAL
New York 92
Cleveland 98 FINAL
Brooklyn 106
LA Lakers 83 FINAL
Toronto 94
Miami 86 FINAL
Atlanta 99
Golden State 107 FINAL
Memphis 84
Sacramento 88 FINAL
New Orleans 102
Minnesota 110 FINAL
Houston 120
Dallas 76 FINAL
San Antonio 94
Utah 91 FINAL
Denver 107
Portland 56 3rd Qtr 2:48
Phoenix 62
Calgary 2 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Columbus 5 FINAL
Chicago 2
Dallas 0 3rd Prd 15:46
Edmonton 1
UCLA 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 74
NC State 65 FINAL
Louisville 75
Utah 36 2nd Half 6:30
Duke 49
Kent State 40 2nd Half 9:14
Northern Ariz 49
Michigan State 37 2nd Half 15:09
Oklahoma 39
(15) North Carolina 65 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 67
(18) Iowa 66 FINAL
(5) Baylor 81
(9) Arizona State 46 2nd Half 10:03
(7) Florida State 46
(14) Stanford 52 2nd Half 6:56
(2) Notre Dame 67

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