Earlier this season, I threw out a post that asked Boston Celtics fans if they felt the Cs should make a play for Minnesota Timberolves power forward Kevin Love. At the time, I was merely speculating, based on the fact that Love is set to become a free agent in 2015, and the fact that the T-Wolves suck.
Now that the season is over, and the T-Wolves still are pretty bad, it’s time for the Kevin Love trade rumors to kick up about ten notches! Especially since we now know where each of the lottery teams stand in the upcoming NBA Draft.
Monday, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported that the Celtics loom as an intriguing possible destination for Love. Wojnarowski’s rationale?
Boston has multiple picks to offer in the next several years as part of a total package for Love, as well as the salary-cap space to perhaps take back an unwanted contract from Minnesota.
The fact that Kevin Love shares an agent with Paul Pierce – Jeff Schwartz – doesn’t hurt, either, nor does the fact that Boston can remind Love (who has yet to make the playoffs) that Boston own 17 championship banners, more than any other team in the NBA.
In short, the Boston Celtics should certainly be considered a team in the running should the T-Wolves decide to trade Love (a scenario which appears more and likely) – but the question is, did Boston’s slipping down into the sixth spot in the draft last night help, or hurt, the team’s chances of pulling off such a mega-trade?
The answer is, whether Boston holds the fifth or sixth pick is irrelevant. The Celtics can offer Minnesota the sixth pick in this year’s draft, either the 17th pick in this year’s draft or picks in future drafts, a young player or two (I would guess that Jared Sullinger‘s and Jeff Green‘s names get brought up), and can bring in a player with a troublesome contract in order for the T-Wolves to free up some salary cap space. Dropping from fifth to sixth is not a terrible thing with a class of prospects such as this year’s class, since the drop-off from the top three to rest of the top ten is not very steep at all.
The scenario that would have complicated the picture the most would have been the one in which the Celtics won the first pick overall. At that point, President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge would have had to think long and hard about whether a six-year veteran like Love was worth the price, especially since there is no guarantee that Love (who becomes a free agent in 2015) would re-sign with Boston. It’s a bit easier to swallow giving up the sixth pick in the draft for a guy who eventually bolts, but the first pick? That’s the sort of move that gets people fired from their jobs. (Hell, even throwing the sixth pick out the window could do that!)
Any way you look at it, the Boston Celtics have some important decisions to make. They could retain the sixth pick and draft a big man like Noah Vonleh, or a guard such as Marcus Smart; they could try to trade the pick and some other assets in order to move up in the draft, in order to grab a player who appears to be more of a “sure thing” such as Andrew Wiggins; or they roll the dice and go “all-in” the Kevin Love Sweepstakes, hoping that he will sign a max contract with them in the summer of 2015.
Looks like we’ve got our work cut out for us here at Hardwood Houdini, but don’t you worry – we wouldn’t have it any other way! There’s lots to talk about from now until the NBA Draft on June 26, so stay tuned!