I’m not sure when Adrian Wojnarowski sleeps, but apparently it’s not at night. Around 4 am, he posted this on Yahoo! Sports regarding the Timberwolves future and Kevin Love trade rumors.
The Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns are among many teams determined to make hard runs at trades for Love, league sources said. Boston and Los Angeles plan to make high-lottery picks in the 2014 NBA Draft available in offers for Love, sources said.
No team is likely to trade for Love without an assurance that he’ll commit to a five-year, $100 million maximum contract extension. Despite a belief that Love prefers Los Angeles or New York as a potential destination, he’s open to deals in other markets where he can be part of an immediate contender, sources said.
This isn’t a surprise, but it IS huge to hear it from a source as reliable as Woj. Let’s break it down briefly.
First of all, the Celtics are at a bit of a disadvantage here in that A) they aren’t one of Love’s preferred destinations and B) they aren’t likely to be a contender immediately upon trading for him. That being said, Love isn’t an idiot. He would realize that teaming up with Rajon Rondo might very well attract a third star at some point who would see Rondo/Love as a fun combo to play with. He wouldn’t become an immediate contender, but he would probably immediately be a playoff team in the Eastern Conference, and he would definitely make the Celtics an attractive free agent option.
As trade partners with the Timberwolves, the Celtics have an advantage over everyone among the four teams Woj listed, with the possible exception of Phoenix. The Lakers can offer their pick and very little else. The Warrriors can offer Harrison Barnes and David Lee, which would be a horrendously disappointing haul for Love. But Phoenix could offer a lot of young talent in addition to a plethora of future picks. If worst came to worst, the Suns could even include Eric Bledsoe or Goran Dragic, which would be painful for the Suns after this year’s success but worth it for a top-level talent like Love.
But Boston’s deal would have the promise of a top-6 lottery pick in addition to plenty of later picks if necessary, and that very well might trump a Bledsoe/Dragic deal. The Wolves have an abysmal draft history, but that was under David Kahn, and there’s a new administration in place that might like to try its hand evaluating talent. Whether or not there actually is franchise-changing talent at the top of the draft this year, the potential exists. That potential might make the Celtics’ pick more valuable than anything concrete Phoenix can offer.
All of this, of course, remains to be seen. But at the end of the season, Danny Ainge said he would be exploring all of his options in the offseason, and things are beginning to move. The 2014 offseason promises to be a lot more exciting than the regular season.
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