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Andrew Wiggins signs contract with Cleveland Cavaliers: Analysis

Andrew Wiggins has finally signed his rookie-scale deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the club announced Thursday, starting the 30 day clock in which he cannot be traded.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed their 2014 NBA Draft picks, Andrew Wiggins and Joe Harris, to contracts, Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts. Per league policy, terms of the contracts were not released.

You may be asking why the Cavaliers, who have been deep in negotiations with the Wolves for Kevin Love for weeks, have waited this long to sign Wiggins. It has to do with cap space. Prior to first-round draft picks signing, they count for 100 percent of their scale cap hit. In Wiggins’ case, that amount is $4.592 million this season. However, most rookies end up signing deals that are 120 percent of their scale, or the maximum amount that teams can go over to sign them. In this case, 120 percent of Wiggins’ scale contract is about $5.51 million. By waiting to sign Wiggins, the team preserved $1 million of cap space during the period of free agency. For a team close to the cap ceiling, that space was essential to make the maneuvering that they needed to in order to surround LeBron James and Kyrie Irving with talent.

Today’s contract signing means that the 30-day window during which Wiggins cannot be traded has begun. This is especially important, given the Love trade discussions. To match Kevin Love’s $15.7 million contract, the Cavaliers would need to send out $10.72 million to make the money work via the CBA. Given the team’s current roster construction, the team would need to send out at least one other role player (such as Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett, or Dion Waiters) and then something else to make the money work.

However, given that the Wolves have said they want to attach J.J. Barea and Kevin Martin to a deal, the money gets trickier. If the team would add both, the Cavaliers would be forced to send out $21.6 million in a deal. If they add Martin but not Barea, it would be $17.5 million, and if they add Barea but not Martin it would be about $15.2 million. Caleb Nordgren of our sister website Mid-Level Exceptional does an excellent job laying out the math.

With the Cavaliers having to send out multiple pieces in a Kevin Love deal, the numbers are going to get really messy. It’s nice to now have Wiggins’ deal to actually add to the money to make it match for the Cavaliers. It just can’t happen for 30 days now.

And of course, there’s always the possibility that, you know, Wiggins plays out his contract in Cleveland.

Sam Vecenie

Sam Vecenie is the editor-in-chief of Upside & Motor, as well as an editor at Hardwood Paroxysm. He likes to spend endless hours watching random NCAA game film, and scouring the internet for international basketball. You can find his other work at SBNation's college basketball platform.

  • TV63

    THis is a mess with those 2 other players. Cavs have to say no to something in all of this.