Will Kevin Love End Up with the Boston Celtics?
To say that Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love has emerged into a star would be a vast understatement. Love has become one of the most dominant players in the NBA, and he has the makings to be one of the best offensive power forwards in history. The 6-foot-10 big man is currently fourth in the league in points per game (26.6) and second in rebounds per game (13.2). He is proficient in the post, shoots well from deep-range (38 percent) and is a tenacious rebounder. His defense could use improvement, but Love is a premier player with the whole package.
Unfortunately, keeping Love in Minnesota will be a long shot for the Timberwolves. The 25-year-old has already expressed a desire to leave Minnesota once his contract is up. He wants to play for a traditional, winning team. Before Love bolts Minnesota in the summer of 2015, the team should be looking to get value in return before they end up empty handed. Thus, the T-Wolves should turn to the team with the most assets—the Boston Celtics.
Everyday, this year’s Celtics team seems more set up like the team in 2006-07 which had the one of the worst records in the NBA along with a number of young, talented players. Boston traded most of those assets, including Al Jefferson in two separate moves to acquire Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. In the 2013-14 season, Boston has a stockpile of draft picks as opposed to young players. Jared Sullinger is this year’s version of Al Jefferson, Rajon Rondo is 2013′s version of Paul Pierce and Kevin Love is KG.
Of course, this time Danny Ainge won’t have his buddy Kevin McHale on the other end to make the trade more sweet. Nonetheless, Boston still has the means to pull off such a trade. The Celtics could potentially have a top-5 pick in this year’s stacked draft and an additional pick that will fall in the top 20. It doesn’t stop there. The Celtics have seven more first-round draft picks to play with, including two from the Brooklyn Nets, a team that could be in ruins by the time 2016 or 2018 rolls around.
Keep in mind that if Minnesota doesn’t trade Love soon, they will end up with nothing when he leaves. You absolutely can’t say that the T-Wolves wouldn’t be tantalized by a top-5 pick, a plethora of future first-rounders, a young, promising big man like Kelly Olynyk and maybe Brandon Bass‘ expiring contract. Or the No. 17 overall pick, a future-first round pick along with Jared Sullinger could do the trick if need be. Boston is so flooded with assets that several scenarios could easily seduce Minnesota. Celtics could even take on a bad contract like Chase Budinger‘s to intrigue the T-Wolves even further.
No other team (sorry, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers) has pieces like the Celtics do to acquire Love. However, I would be hesitant to trade Sullinger because Rondo would do miraculous things with both Love and Sullinger in the same lineup.
Love has already expressed adoration for coach Brad Stevens and the whole Celtics organization. Why would he pass up the chance to play with a former champion like Rondo? Love is the piece the Celtics need to compete for another championship. Also, a Love-Rondo-Sullinger trio could potentially attract free agents to Boston when the team has the cap room in the future.
The T-Wolves would be smart to trade Love to the Celtics this summer. The return is simply to much to pass on and much more than any other team can offer. Remember Minnesota fans, a top 5 pick in this year’s draft could potentially be a franchise player. So, if Minnesota is going to trade Love, this is the offseason to do it. Many say the Celtics acquiring Love is impossible or merely a “pipe dream” that Boston fans conjure up. However, after taking a closer look, we see that seeing Love in green makes complete sense for both sides and is extremely plausible.
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