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

Why The Boston Celtics Are Major Players In The Kevin Love Sweepstakes

This morning, I was reading that the Minnesota Timberwolves are still not interested in what the Boston Celtics have to offer for the services of Kevin Love.

My first thought?  Bull-hockey.

Look: Minnesota probably still resents the Boston Celtics for snagging Kevin Garnett and instantly giving him the NBA championship he had so desperately wanted all those years that he was toiling on the T-Wolves . . . and the fact that the best player Minnesota got in that deal, Al Jefferson, has since moved on to Charlotte probably doesn’t help . . . but it’s time to get over it.

Kevin Love is NOT going to re-sign with you, Flip Saunders.  And if you would get your head out of your ass, you would realize that Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics are in the best position to help your in your time of trouble.

With Love’s intentions known to all, Minnesota really has no leverage to speak of right now.  Sure, Saunders doesn’t want to give up Love for nothing – he would love to get equal value in return – but the longer the T-Wolves wait, and the closer Love gets to becoming a free agent,  the more Minnesota will have to start considering less-than-desirable options.

Love’s going to walk, and his trade value is decreasing every week that passes by.  So why not make a trade with the team that isn’t afraid to throw in everything and the kitchen sink to get him?

It’s no secret that the Boston Celtics don’t enjoy being an irrelevant team; sitting atop of the NBA for so long has made failure absolutely intolerable for the Celtics, so you can be damn sure that Ainge and company are not going to be adopting the Philadelphia 76ers’ tanking philosophy, ever.  The Celtics will give Minnesota any player short of Rajon Rondo in order to convince them to send Love packing – most likely Jared Sullinger, whose numbers stack up very well against Love’s.

Player/2nd Season
Win Shares
Kevin Love14.011.014.528.64.9
Jared Sullinger13.

Am I saying Jared Sullinger is, or will ever be, as good as Kevin Love?  Ha ha ha ha!  You’re hilarious!

But in Sullinger, the T-Wolves have a player in Love’s mold who is going to give them comparable numbers.  Not equal value, but not lights years away, either.

And while Sullinger is not enough, Sullinger and another player  plus a handful of the first-round picks that the Celtics have stockpiled certainly gives Minnesota the tools to do what it SHOULD want to do: build a team good enough to make the playoffs.

Something the Timberwolves have NOT been able to do with Kevin Love, by the way.

Minnesota doesn’t have a roster good enough to compete in the Western Conference, with or without Love, so if Flip Saunders and the front office is looking to make a trade that will make the team a playoff contender immediately, they are out of their minds.   Only four teams in the NBA allowed more points per game last season than Minnesota, and only one team allowed opponents to shoot a higher percentage.   And for all of Love’s rebounding mastery, Minnesota only had an offensive rebound percentage of 27.4% – the same as the Boston Celtics.  (And Minnesota actually had a slightly LOWER defensive rebound percentage than the Cs!)

In short: Minnesota stinks, and Boston stinks.  Minnesota, however, doesn’t have the luxury of having a stockpile of first-round draft picks like the Celtics have.  So far, the Timberwolves don’t appear to care about that little problem - which is idiotic, because once Kevin Love walks next summer, they are going to need as many picks as possible to rebuild that team.  Minnesota isn’t exactly a top-ten pick of free agents, you know – and that is WITH Love on the roster.

Apr 8, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves mascot Crunch pre game at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Even if their mascot is pretty cool.

So the Timberwolves can keep dreaming about a world in which the Golden State Warriors are idiotic enough to take one step forward and one step back by trading Klay Thompson . . . or they can come back down to Earth and realize that there is no team more able, or more willing, to help than the Boston Celtics.

No rush, Flip – Trader Danny will keep the light on for you.



Tags: Boston Celtics Kevin Love

  • Tara

    That was idiotic. Boston isn’t going to get Love for picks and scrubs. Get over it.

    And all this ticking-clock stuff is nonsense. Offers for Love are going to get better, a lot better, the moment LeBron and Melo decide who to sign with. Every team currently trying to land one or the other is going to be looking at a trade for Love as their next best-available option, and Flip’s phone is going to blow up with calls from about 8 different teams.

    • Richard Spalding

      Unnecessary rudeness aside, there’s a difference between going after a free agent, and being willing to part ways with players in order to get Love. Minnesota wants Golden State to give up Klay Thompson? Please. Who will LA give up – Pau Gasol? Jordan Hill? Gasol is broken down, and Hill is slightly less in value than Sullinger. Calling Sullinger a scrub is laughable at best. Boston may not get Kevin Love, but that’s probably more due to the bad taste in Minnesota’s mouth from the Kevin Garnett trade than anything else.

      • straightbutnotnarrow

        I don’t think that what happened with Garnett is something that is affecting the process. It’s a business, and I think they are professional enough to look beyond that and forget it. That being said, I agree that the Celtics have a good chance to get Kevin Love. Sullinger is no scrub. He’s no Kevin Love, but add a couple of solid or promising players such as Thorton, Olynyk, Smart and/or Zeller (Green is too valuable to give up if it’s with Sullinger) in the mix along with some first round picks, the Wolves would be stupid not to trade Love because if not, he’s going to walk and give them nothing in return. The Warriors will not part with Klay Thompson, and Flip wants to win now, so no way do they gamble and send one of the best PFs away for an untested rookie in Andrew Wiggins if LeBron ends up signing with the Cavaliers. It’s not enough. The deal with the Celtics would give them the best chance to add the needed role players, and possibly get a franchise player in the upcoming draft. They could package Rubio and a couple good players for a top free agent (who’s name isn’t LeBron or Carmelo or Bosh) or wait until the market opens up more at the mid-season trade deadline or in 2015. It may not be the most likely situation that Love comes to Boston, but it’s certainly not outside the realm of possibility nor ‘idiotic.’ On another note, how great would it be to see Rondo and Love working together on pick and rolls?

        • Richard Spalding

          Man, don’t get me dreaming of Rondo-Love scenarios . . . it makes me a little sick to my stomach! ;-) I think the T-Wolves are making it difficult for the Celtics because of the KG trade, playing hard to get if you will. The fact that Love visited Boston probably pissed them off, too. Still, like you said: from a business perspective, Boston has a shot. Some new team may craft an offer that is impossible to ignore, but Danny Ainge will at least be in the ballgame.

  • Wise_Guy

    obviously these are all Celtics’ fans talking about such a deal that only benefits one team. If Sullinger is as good as this article claims, why trade him now when he’s 3 times cheaper than Kevin Love? Something tells me that Celtics’ fans know that Sullinger is no Kevin Love and probably will never be, so it makes sense to dump him to another losing franchise because apparently the Wolves are that naive not to notice. The this a funny article at best while insulting a GM for a humble franchise to get thier point across. Maybe the author doesn’t agree with how the Wolves GM does business, but has the author earned any right to insult him?

    • Richard Spalding

      I came right out and said Sullinger would never be as good as Kevin Love; however, Sullinger is by no means a bad player, and plenty of Celtics fans DON’T want to see him traded. The bottom line is, Kevin Love is going to leave Minnesota, and Boston may not have THE strongest package as of right now, but is more than willing to work in order to create a package. I can see where you feel like I was insulting Minnesota, which is fair enough even though I was not intending to do that.