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.
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.
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.