LAS VEGAS – Once LeBron James announced he was returning to the Cavaliers, the rest of the NBA went into scramble mode – including the Warriors.
There are multiple reports and many good reasons to believe that Kevin Love, so coveted by the Warriors, also may end up in Cleveland.
[RELATED: LeBron James makes return to Cleveland]
The Cavaliers certainly are expected to make a play for Love, who has one year left on his Timberwolves contract but has expressed a desire to be traded to a contender. Cleveland suddenly is a contender.
The Warriors and Timberwolves went through several trade scenarios before the issue went cold a couple weeks ago. It went cold mostly because Minnesota wasn't sure it would trade Love and absolutely wasn't ready to do so unless the Warriors were willing to send back Klay Thompson in the deal sure to also include David Lee.
Well, now the Cavaliers are in position to make a move.
James' return, announced in a letter exclusive to Sports Illustrated, talked about his desire to build a winner in his home region. He mentioned point guard Kyrie Irving. And power forward Tristan Thompson. And center Anderson Verejao. And shooting guard Dion Waiters.
LeBron did not mention Andrew Wiggins, who went to the Cavaliers as the first overall pick in last month's draft.
LeBron did not mention Anthony Bennett, whom went to the Cavs as the first overall pick in last year's draft.
Are they possible trade bait for Love? It's very plausible and something the Warriors must consider as they convene and consider their options.
The Warriors on Thursday were in a fairly comfortable position regarding their pursuit of Love. They had a nice offer – Harrison Barnes, Lee and a future pick – and were willing to wait out Timberwolves boss Flip Saunders.
But with LeBron's announcement, the Warriors' competition for Love's services just got tougher – a lot tougher.
Is it tough enough to persuade them to move Thompson?
And, at this stage, would that be enough?