With all eyes fixated on the free agency decisions of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, we haven’t heard much on the Kevin Love front in quite awhile. But according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics have been quietly working on putting together a trade package that would interest the Minnesota Timberwolves.
So far, “quiet” has been the right word to describe Boston’s offseason. After re-signing Avery Bradley to a four year, $32 million deal on the second day of free agency, the Celtics haven’t been players elsewhere and, according to Washburn, have given up their pursuit of signing free agent Kris Humphries, which is good news since Boston is pretty much out of cap space already.
Putting together the right deal to persuade Flip Saunders to trade away his most valuable asset might be tough, especially after the Timberwolves were hosed in their last trade that gave away a franchise player. In the Kevin Garnett deal in 2007, the only player Minnesota received in return who turned out to be decent was Al Jefferson. Even the draft picks included in the deal turned into Jonny Flynn and Wayne Ellington.
However, Saunders wasn’t the president of basketball operations back then and the Celtics have plenty of future draft picks to include in a potential deal as sweeteners. The Wolves will probably want an established veteran in addition to future prospects and picks, but this is where things get tricky because Boston’s best trade asset, who’s been involved in trade rumors for years now, is the exact piece the Celtics would want to pair with Kevin Love.
Celtics never gave up on pursuing Kevin Love. As I’ve written before, they’re prepared to get creative by involving other teams in a deal.
— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) July 5, 2014
It was only a few weeks ago the Rajon Rondo-to-the-Sacramento-Kings rumors resurfaced and after drafting Marcus Smart and James Young (not to mention re-signing Bradley), Boston’s backcourt is starting to feel a little crowded. However, a Rondo-Love union is probably the only thing that would interest Kevin Love in re-signing with Boston when he becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer.
A potential package would probably look something include young talent Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk or James Young, along with as many draft picks as Danny Ainge can handle shipping away. Washburn writes that the Celtics could also use their multitude of picks and a $10.2 million trade exception from the Paul Pierce trade to acquire a quality veteran from another team looking to clear out space for the NBA’s premier free agents this summer. The Celts could then include that veteran and whatever picks and young talent they have left over in a deal for Love.
All is quiet with the Boston Celtics right now, but Ainge has done a tremendous job building up his team’s assets to reach this point. If he can engineer a package that entices the Wolves and bring Kevin Love to Boston, all that silence will have been golden.