The Kevin Love rumors are changing by the hour. First, the Chicago Bulls were the front runners, then the Boston Celtics became favorites yesterday and just a few hours later the Denver Nuggets took the lead. The Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings were also rumored to be in the mix. Now the latest medalist to land the big man is the Golden State Warriors because of their willingness to include Klay Thompson in a deal.
While the Nuggets’ and Warriors’ offers are certainly nothing to sneeze at, the Celtics can still put together the best package to send to the Minnesota Timberwolves and here’s why.
The Celtics would potentially deal picks No. 6 and No. 17, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, Brandon Bass, Keith Bogans and multiple future first-round picks. Unless the Cleveland Cavaliers want to get in the mix, the Celtics’ pick is the highest the Timberwolves can get in exchange for Love. In this draft, the sixth and even the 17th picks can contribute right away in the NBA. So, Minnesota would have three draft picks (including their own at No. 13) in a solid draft class. That gives them three players who can contribute right away and help build a solid team for years to come
It is reported that Minnesota is also looking for young, established players. Sullinger has shown he is a solid player who rebounds, can score in the post and hit a mid-range jumper. Plus, he and Olynyk will remain in their rookie deals until 2018.
Boston also owns picks from the Brooklyn Nets in 2016, 2017 (right to swap) and 2018. With the way things are going in Brooklyn, there is a good chance this team will be at the bottom of the league during these years. Therefore, Minnesota would be gaining yet another probable lottery pick down the road.
The Celtics can also offer salary cap relief. Brandon Bass is just a one-year commitment, and then he is off the books. Bogans’ contract is non-guaranteed, so the Timberwolves can shed his salary right after the trade is complete. Boston can also take on a bad contract from Minnesota. Cap space is extremely important for a team trying to rebuild.
The Celtics have plenty of assets to offer that will be important for a rebuilding process in Minnesota. Now, let’s break down the offer made by the current front runner in the Kevin Love sweepstakes.
The Warriors offer is extremely tantalizing at the surface, but Minnesota would just end up in the same spot they are in now. A package of David Lee and Thompson for Love, Kevin Martin, J.J. Barea and the 13th pick in the draft.
Thompson is a good player, not a great player. He’s often questionable with his shot selection and is somewhat of a one-tick pony. Playing alongside Stephen Curry only inflates his numbers. Thompson is not a franchise-caliber player. In fact, he is the third option on the Warriors. I thought Love was supposed to be the superstar in this deal?
Minnesota would also be acquiring David Lee, who doesn’t seem to be much of an asset either. Lee is almost 32 years old, is owed over $30 million the next two years and is injury-prone.
The Timberwolves would not only acquire players who would lead them to another 11th seed, they’d also have to surrender their own lottery pick. This is a great trade for the Warriors, not Minnesota.
If Flip Saunders wants the best for his team, then he needs to take the Celtics’ offer. The Nuggets’, Warriors’ and Bulls’ offers would only keep the Timberwolves in mediocrity with no chance to rebuild. The Celtics’ offer gives them a chance to obtain talented players in the draft multiple times, a player with high potential in Jared Sullinger, cap space and a chance to build a good team for years to come.