Unless you’ve been living under a rock, are in a coma, or are otherwise incapacitated, you’re probably aware of the fact that Kevin Love‘s name has been thrown around in trade rumors, a lot of them. It just so happens to work out that the Boston Celtics have reportedly expressed interest in the 25-year old UCLA product, while several teams, including the Chicago Bulls and the Golden State Warriors, are also thought to be in line to acquire the Minnesota Timberwolves’ All-Star.
At this point in time, it hasn’t been made clear what the Timberwolves want back in return for Love, but given his talent level, one would assume that it’s a hefty haul. Now this is not final, or even known at all, but here’s what I believe Boston would need to give up in order to land Love:
- PF Jared Sullinger
- C Kelly Olynyk
- PF Brandon Bass
- C Joel Anthony
- 2014 first-round pick (No. 6 overall)
- 2014 first-round pick (No. 17 overall, via Brooklyn)
- 2015 first-round pick
Quite the haul, despite Love’s talent. Boston would essentially be mortgaging their future for one player. The three first-rounders are incredibly valuable, especially the sixth overall pick this year. Jared Sullinger grew into a force in the paint this past season, and has already been compared to love himself. Kelly Olynyk, although inconsistent, proved to be a skilled seven-footer with an outside shot in his rookie season. Brandon Bass has been an incredibly consistent big man for Boston, scoring his share of points off of a great mid-range shot.
Sullinger and Olynyk could each have reached their ceilings, and cashing in now could ideally be a great move for Boston. At the same time, they could each develop into great players, maybe even to the level of Kevin Love. As of right now however, it’s unknown.
Now in no way am I saying that Love wouldn’t be part of an incredible pair with Rajon Rondo in Boston. He’s easily the best player in this deal, and could quite possibly turn Boston into a contender. The catch is he might not choose to stick around come next season, and bolt for whichever team he may choose come free agency.
Sounds very familiar to the Dwight Howard saga, where the Lakers gave up young All-Star center Andrew Bynum to acquire the disgruntled Howard (who later left for Houston in free agency). Now, just a year later, Los Angeles is in just as bad a situation as Boston, and that’s without a head coach.
So maybe trading their future didn’t work out for the Lakers, that’s just an isolated incident, right? Wrong.
Look no further than the New York Knicks, who in 2011 sent almost their entire roster to the Denver Nuggets for superstar swingman Carmelo Anthony. New York sent Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, Raymond Felton, and a 2014 first-rounder for Anthony and Chauncey Billups. Now just three years later, New York looks like a train wreck of an organization, and Carmelo could be on his way out.
Chandler and Gallinari aren’t exactly elite NBA players, but they’re two young, quality forwards. Mozgov developed into one of the best backup centers in the NBA, and with the draft right around the corner, we get to see how Denver finally closes the trade with their selection, via New York.
Two teams that went all in for superstars, New York and Los Angeles, both find themselves in disarray. While Boston currently sits in a similar situation, they have plenty of cap space and first-round picks to dig themselves out of the hole. While bringing in Kevin Love could be an impressive splash for the present, it could harm them severely in the future.
Shawn McFarland covers the Boston Celtics for HoopsHabit.com