Jan 11, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Boston Celtics small forward Jeff Green (8) drives to the basket against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Trade Rumors: Should The Boston Celtics Go After Kevin Love?

As I pointed out yesterday, there are plenty of NBA trade rumors that claim the Boston Celtics are leaning towards trading Jeff Green and possibly even Rajon Rondo.  Many of these rumors speculate that the Celtics are still in the hunt for Houston Rockets big man Omer Asik, and that a small forward like Green (and definitely an All-Star point guard like Rondo) could be what it takes to add Asik to Boston’s front court.

Dec 16, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love (42) drives past Boston Celtics power forward Kris Humphries (43) during the fourth quarter of Boston

While the Asik rumors are the ones I am hearing and reading the most, there are some whispers that the Boston Celtics could (or should) be interested in making a run at Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

It should come as no surprise to anyone who follows the NBA that Kevin Love is an unhappy camper in Minnesota, and if you were to set odds on the likelihood of him re-signing with the Timberwolves, you would be foolish to set those odds any higher than 0%.  His frustration has bubbled up in interviews, most recently his harsh words for a few of his teammates during a loss to the Phoenix Suns, and it would unwise for the Timberwolves’ front office to believe they can convince him to re-sign with the team once his contract expires in July 2015.   Add to that the fact that the Wolves are currently 11th in the hard-as-hell Western Conference with a 20-21 record, and you have the makings of a team that will begin looking toward the future very soon.

Enter the Boston Celtics, who have been looking toward the future since last summer.

Boston has done a great job of shedding some contracts and stockpiling some picks for this year’s and future drafts.  While thoughts of Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins, to name a few, might be dancing in the heads of Danny Ainge, as well as thousands of Boston Celtics fans (myself included), there are all sorts of question marks that come with young prospects.  History is filled with tales about can’t-miss players who were misses, so there is always a level of uncertainty that comes when drafting young players.

Conversely, there is no doubt when it comes to figuring out what the Celtics would be getting should they acquire Love: a 25 year-old power forward who average a double-double per game, who has the ability to stretch the defense with his 36.1% lifetime shooting percentage from beyond the 3-point line.  Despite his frustrations, Love is averaging 25 points and 13 rebounds per game this season, with those 25 PPG being the second-highest scoring average of his young career.   Tell me you wouldn’t enjoy watching Love and Jared Sullinger terrorize opponents in the paint – go on: I dare you.

Jan 19, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo (9) calls a play against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Amway Center. Orlando Magic defeated the Boston Celtics 93-91. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota GM Flip Saunders would have to be idiotic or delusional not to consider trading Love, so I have to believe that someone like Danny Ainge could pry Love out of Saunders’ hands given the right offer.  The question is, what would the Celtics have to give up in order to swing such a deal?  The obvious answer is Rajon Rondo; as they say, you don’t trade an All-Star without getting an All-Star in return.  If Rondo was a required component in this theoretical transaction that I am proposing, I would not be in favor of it; a point guard with Rondo’s experience and skill set is worth far more to me than a forward like Love.  After all, who is going to get the ball to a player like Love if Rondo is gone, and orchestrate the offense that way that Rondo is cable of doing?   Again, unless the Cs have a trick up their sleeve and are able to bring Chris Paul to Boston, Rajon Rondo needs to remain in Celtic green.

Could a trade for Love be made if it involved Jeff Green, instead of Rondo?  By now, you all know my feelings about Green: he’s an athletic player who can attack the rim and stretch defenses, since he makes almost three 3-pointers per game at a clip of 34.8%.  Clearly, his lifetime averages of 13.8 PPG and 4.1 rebounds per are a drop from what Love provides the Wolves, but toss in a first and second round pick with Green, and possibly another complimentary player, and you have an offer that might be tough to refuse, especially when the Wolves know Love will be walking out the door, leaving nothing behind, should he become a free agent in 2015.

Rumors are rumors, and it does no good to put too much stock in them.  However, Kevin Love is a player who could give the Boston Celtics a formidable front court.  Small ball has worked out nicely for the Miami Heat, so there is no reason to believe that the Celtics have to go out and land a true center in order to complete their roster.  I’m against trading Rondo, but not against using the draft picks Trader Danny has acquired to bring Love to the TD Garden.

As always, I love to hear your thoughts, so whether you agree or disagree, make sure you let me know below, or @theamazingMrS!

Tags: Boston Celtics Jeff Green Kevin Love NBA Trade Rumors Rajon Rondo

  • Phillip Bausk

    I would love to see Love (see what i did there?) as a Celtic, but do you think the Wolves do Green and 1st round picks for Love? I dont think so. I think Sullinger would have to be in the deal for him. Also, as much a Love/Sullinger front court would be great anyhow, that team would give up 120 pts a night. I jsut dont think we have enough to offer, unless its Green, Sully, 2-3 first roundgers and taking on a bad contract. Oddly enough with all that said, I kind of would like to see it,…

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      I know – it’s tempting, right? I wouldn’t mind seeing Sullinger be put in a deal that brings Love in, but not if Green was involved, as well – now I’m bringing in a power forward to replace a power forward and a small forward with great athleticism. I have a feeling the only player on the team that would be worth enough to swing a trade for Love is Rondo, so at that point I want no part of it (although I’m not so sure Danny Ainge would agree). Green, another player and picks probably is not enough for Love – but Ainge has made some good deals, so I’m curious to see if he makes a play for Love in the future. Thanks for the read!

  • Rolltide3332

    Stop with the Jeff a green idolatry. He has a few good nights, but many nights that he kills our team. Jeff is no leader. I would trade him without blinking if we could get Kevin Love for him.I’d give up Jeff before sully. Make it happen Danny

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      Here’s what I wrote about Green yesterday:

      “Let’s face it: Jeff Green really is the sort of guy who could be a team’s third-scorer, just as he was with the Oklahoma City Thunder. What he is not, based on what I have seen from him as a member of the Boston Celtics, is a go-to guy, or even a reliable second option. He is too inconsistent, and not aggressive enough, to carry the scoring load for a team night in and night out.”

      Clearly, I show no idolaty for Jeff Green! Which is why I have no problem trading him, and a handful of draft picks. I doubt Minnesota would give up Love for such a deal, but that’s as much as I would be willing to give up, since I don’t want Rondo going anywhere!

      • Rolltide3332

        This is what I was responding to”I wouldn’t mind seeing Sullinger be put in a deal that brings Love in, but not if Green was involved, as well – now I’m bringing in a power forward to replace a power forward and a small forward with great athleticism.” Green has been given more than enough time to prove himself. If we have to give up sully then so be it. I hate too give him up because he usually gives his all. Jeff has all the athleticism in the world, but no heart. He has killed us multiple times with lackluster gameplay. He just has no motivation.

        • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

          Ha ha – I see! All I meant was this: I don’t mind losing Green OR Sullinger if it meant getting Love, but I don’t want to lose two guys to get one. I would much rather lose Green than Sully, because I agree 100% with you. However, if Minnesota took Sully, another player and picks for Love, I could live with keeping Green. Love is great, but if we lost Sully and Green we’re now losing 30+ points and however many rebounds and bringing in Love, who won’t make up that deficit by himself. I would much rather keep Sully and ship Green out. Thanks!

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  • Paul Sherman

    I would not give away more than one first rd pick. Love has no intentions of going back so waiting until he is a FA is another way to get him. I think keeping this years pick isn’t a bad idea especially if top 3 or 4. All those draft picks are valuable and can be used in so many ways including moving around in future drafts. We need to trim guys off this roster fast before we play ourselves out of a shot of that top 4. I have read some interesting trades but I think we need to start young. It was nice to win a championship and honestly we should have at least won another if not 2. We went with older guys and this time I think we need younger guys so the window is larger to compete for a championship. We want to be good for many years. We do need to have some really young guys and then young guys. It is too hard to rebuild all at once. We need to stagger guys. If they all are very young then we just need to watch it when age starts creeping up on the next team put together to compete for the championship.

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