Wednesday | February 22, 2017
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Love, James are united

CLEVELAND (AP) — Olympic champions together, Kevin Love and LeBron James spent the last 30 days waiting to become teammates again.

Cleveland has craved a championship for 50 years.

One drought over. One to go.

On the first day they were able to complete the long-discussed blockbuster trade, the Minnesota Timberwolves sent Love to the Cavaliers, who capped a spectacular summer on Saturday by acquiring the All-Star power forward as another running mate for James to make them instant title contenders.

“Welcome to the Land @kevinlove!” James, the four-time league MVP, posted on his Twitter account.

The Timberwolves receive a bountiful return for parting with Love, the disgruntled face of their franchise. They acquired No. 1 overall draft choice Andrew Wiggins and former top pick Anthony Bennett from the Cavs and veteran forward Thaddeus Young from the Philadelphia 76ers in the three-team deal.

The Sixers received a 2015 first-round draft choice from Cleveland — ironically, one of the ones the Cavs got from Miami for James in 2010 — and guard Alexey Shved and forward Luc Mbah a Moute from the Timberwolves, who also receive a trade exception worth about $6.3 million.

The Cavs and Timberwolves had discussed a trade involving Love for months, long before James decided to end his magnificent run with the Heat and come back home to Ohio. The deal dragged through the summer, first because of Cleveland’s unwillingness to include Wiggins, and then due to a rarely used league rule that prohibited it from being completed until 30 days after Wiggins signed his rookie contract.

That bit of fine print in the collective bargaining agreement triggered an agonizing wait in both cities, more so in championship-starved Cleveland where generations of fans have longed for the Cavs, Indians or Browns to win it all.

But once the teams completed a conference call with the league on Saturday