Cleveland is reportedly the last team standing as a legitimate option for Minnesota, and any deal that lands Love would require the Cavaliers to send back this year’s number one overall pick in Andrew Wiggins, along with other assets like Anthony Bennett and a future draft pick to make things desirable enough for the Timberwolves to finally accept.
It wouldn’t be unreasonable, then, for the NBA to cease the sale of Cavaliers jerseys featuring Wiggins’ name and number, if it’s likely he’ll be traded before he ever gets to wear one in a regular season contest.
The NBA’s online store appears to have done exactly that.
A link to the page can be found here, which shows Wiggins’ jersey as having been “discontinued.” It’s noteworthy because there are plenty of jerseys available for other recently-drafted players, including Dante Exum, Julius Randle, and even the injured Joel Embiid. And, when you search for Wiggins on the store site, you are brought to a page that only shows customizable Cavaliers gear, with one t-shirt that shows Wiggins by name and number — though it’s likely that those similarly may never ship.
“This is a special event item. Orders containing this item will be shipped separately. This item will ship within 2-4 weeks after the player has officially signed his contract,” it says in red lettering on the product page.
This may seem like some nothing more than conspiracy theory nonsense, but it’s worth noting that Lovepulled out of USA Basketball due to the trade reportedly being in the works, and Bennett was pulled from participating in a pro-am by his agent for likely the very same reason.
It could be that the league doesn’t want to be stuck having to deal with a bunch of refunds for sold jerseys that may become obsolete before they can be printed, and is taking the more cautious approach. But whether Wiggins ends up staying with the Cavaliers or leaving in trade before the season begins, fans will have to wait a while before they’re able to purchase one of his jerseys.
Brett Pollakoff, NBC's Pro Basketball Talk