It is not a secret that after next season Kevin Love will opt out his current contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves and become a free agent. The Timberwolves have failed to build a competitive roster around Love and he will be moving on. Instead of losing him for nothing, Minnesota must consider trading him before Thursday’s trade deadline.
As one of the five-to-ten best players in the NBA, every team in the league will be interested in landing Love. That being said, Minnesota has been hesitant to talk trade about Love thus far, so it will take a significant package to land him. With their current rebuild, the Boston Celtics have been stockpiling future assets that would be enticing for Minnesota.
Most of the recent rumors surrounding the Celtics have been centered around them selling their best player, point guard Rajon Rondo. Personally, I think they should go in the opposite direction and make a strong push to acquire Love. Pairing Rondo and Love would give the Celtics one of the best duos in the league with both players having plenty of prime years left. Also, Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger are coming on nicely and could become great role players in this scenario. Add a couple of shooters, a big man and some other role players, and the Celtics have a team ready to contend as soon as next season.
If the Timberwolves are serious about trading Love (they should be, but right now that is a legitimate question), Boston would be able to give them assets to rebuild that most teams cannot. The Celtics have two first-round picks in the 2014 draft. Their pick is an almost a guaranteed lottery pick, and the pick from the Brooklyn Nets could end up in the lottery as well. The Celtics also have plenty of future picks that would certainly entice Minnesota.
Aside from Rondo, Jeff Green would be the most valuable player on the roster that the Celtics could send Minnesota. While he is obviously not on Love’s level, Green has really played well this season averaging 16.4 points per game and 4.8 rebounds. At only 27-years-old, Green is just entering his prime years and will be a valuable player in this league for many more seasons. Boston also has valuable expiring contracts that could come into play.
If the Celtics offer Green, their 2014 first-round pick, other future picks and whatever expiring contracts needed to make it work for Love, I think Minnesota would have to think long and hard about taking it. This would obviously signal another rebuild for the Timberwolves, which is not ideal, but it is better than losing their best player for absolutely nothing. The 2014 draft class is deep, and if this trade were to happen it is certainly possible for Minnesota to land two top-five picks in 2014. Whichever two players they would land in that scenario would be perfect to build their team around.
This is a trade that could work out well for both sides. Boston would be crazy not to capitalize on this opportunity to land an elite player and pair him with one of the best point guards in the league. The Timberwolves need to accept that Love is not coming back after next season and capitalize on his value before it is too late.