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3-on-3: Kevin Love Trade Talk

lovebeardThe Kevin Love trade rumors have been running rampant in the past 24 hours, so we brought our crew together for a little 3-on-3 action to sort things out.

1.Out of all the potential suitors, do you feel confident the Celtics can put together the best trade package for Kevin Love? 
Michael Pina:  We’ll know much more after the lottery, but where things stand today, I emphatically do. If Minnesota trades Kevin Love they’ll need to demolish the roster and start all over. There’s no better way to do that than with draft picks, and–stop me if you’ve heard this before–Boston has more than a few.

Brian Robb: Nine draft picks over the next five years, along with plenty of unguaranteed deals and a few solid young prospects mean that’s a yes. No one in the league can match Ainge’s haul of picks. If the Celtics truly want Love, I don’t they can be outbid (even though they might have to overpay).

Tom Westerholm: I wrote this earlier today too, but I feel mostly confident about it. I will say that I think Phoenix putting together a package of picks plus Eric Bledsoe would be a pretty tough challenger, if only because the best player Boston can offer to go with its pick package is Jared Sullinger (aka poor man’s Kevin Love). That being said, Boston’s top 2014 pick has considerably more value than Bledsoe.

2. Does Danny Ainge have enough trade assets to deal for Love AND add enough supporting pieces around Rondo/Love to make Celtics a contender next year?

Pina:  It’s difficult to answer this question without first knowing what Ainge gave to Minnesota, but generally speaking the answer is probably not. Will Boston be fun, exciting, and competitive? Yes. They’ll make the playoffs and maybe even win a round, but contending title contention would still be a couple years away with Love and Rondo as the two best players.

Robb: I’m with Mike here. You immediately become a playoff team next year, maybe even a top-4 team in the East but nothing more than that. The youngsters left over still have to develop and there will undoubtedly be more holes than can be filled during this summer.

Westerholm: That depends what kind of contender. Championship contender? Nah. Presumably the endgame here would be to get Love with the pick, wing help with the No. 17 (assuming they can keep it) and try to find some rim protection (Asik?). That certainly makes the Celtics a playoff contender, but not a championship contender while LeBron still exists.

Note: That doesn’t mean it would be a bad idea. Rondo and Love would make a nice nucleus, and top free agents notice two-star duos. Assuming they can find the room to make it happen, they could be a solid destination for future free agents. Championship teams (usually) aren’t built in one offseason.

3. Give me your best realistic Love-Celtics trade proposal. 

Pina: Jared Sullinger, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, Boston’s highest 2014 first-round pick and 2015 first-round pick. That sounds like a lot, but could still be light.

Robb: Sully, Bass, Bogans, other cap filler, 2014 lottery pick, unprotected Nets 2016 first round pick. Would be tough for any team to match that.

Westerholm: I’m going the easy route. Jeff Green/Brandon Bass/Boston’s (top) 2014 pick/the Clippers 2015 unprotected in exchange for Love.

Boston gets: Kevin Love, obvs.

Minnesota gets: A top prospect, an unprotected first rounder in 2015 (it’s always helpful to have multiple first round picks in one draft), Jeff Green (who really can produce if you surround him with the right pieces) and a solid power forward off the bench who can run pick-and-pops with Ricky Rubio.

Is Minnesota getting ripped off? Of course. Any trade for Love that doesn’t involve a top 15-20 player is a rip off for Kevin Love. But what Minnesota can get in return takes a massive hit if Love makes it known he doesn’t want to return to the Wolves, and Boston’s offer is about as good as the Wolves can get.

  • Payson Whitaker

    Robb’s player proposal above seems to make the most sense. If MINN is going to trade Love, it seems unlikely that they’d take back non-expiring money in return. Bass/Bogans/Sully + picks makes the most sense from that perspective – if MINN is rebuilding, they don’t want/need Green. The only way I can see Green getting involved is if, as part of the negotiations, MINN wants to expand the deal to restructure their long-term salary cap position a bit. For example, the Celts could add Green (2 years, $17.4M remaining) and Joel Anthony’s expiring ($3.8M) to the deal above and take back Kevin Martin (3 years, $19.5M) and either Budinger or Corey Brewer (each are 2 years, $10M remaining). MINN would be sending out $29.5M in guaranteed money and taking back only $21.2M, a savings of $8.3M.

    On the picks front, it seems that much of what the Celts will have to offer comes down to where their lottery pick lands. If it’s in the top 4 (i.e. MINN would be getting one of Wiggins/Parker/Embiid/Exum), you might get away with just including the Clippers 2015 pick. If it’s outside of the top 4, now you’re probably in the ballpark of the Nets 2016 pick or the Celts 2015 pick. Another reason to root for the leprechaun on Tuesday!

  • Brian C

    If the Celtics managed to get a top 3 pick, I would be very disappointed to see them use it in a trade for Love. The C’s have the ability to offer a package of Sullinger + 4 or 5 first rounders (2015 PHI, 2015 LAC, 2015 BOS, and even 2014 BKN, and 2016 BKN or 2016 BOS)… That is significantly more than any other team can offer, and should get a deal done.

  • TMC

    Does anyone else think that Love’s and Olynyk’s game are too similar for Kelly to get any time on the floor with Love in a Celtics jersey? and if so does that mean we would need to unload him for something else like an olynyk/green for asik type deal?

    • Robert

      That’s what would probably happen. Love does many things well, but he’s not a great rim protector. Ideally, the other starting big man would be a long, tall athlete who can provide help d at the rim, while being at least somewhat of a threat as the roll man with Rondo. That would provide ideal spacing with Love camping out beyond the arc and Big Man X heading towards the hoop.

      • TMC

        Well, perhaps I’m being overly optimistic about Olynyk’s future, but if these two have a similar game, is getting Love our best move forward? Hear me out.

        Love will command max money ($15m year plus) and in an all star year he put up 26-12 with shooting splits of 45%-36%-81%
        Olynyk is under contract for 3 more years at $2m, post all star break he was 12-6 with splits of 51%-42%-82%

        Is it completely unreasonable to see Olynyk produce at 75% of what Love produces (19-9, similar shooting splits) in the next year or two for 15% of the price? If that is the case, that’s near max money left on the books for free agents to upgrade other roster spots and cover that missing production. Lance Stephenson would be a major upgrade at the 2–sorry Avery– and you could deploy that dearth of picks/expiring contracts on a big or even an upgrade at the 3 (Asik and parsons would be pretty good here).

        We have lots of young talent at the 4 between Olynyk and Sullinger, so it seems silly to go all in on Love using all of our built up pieces when they could be deployed to meet bigger roster needs.

    • hax

      Olynyk can come off the bench for Asik & Love. Remember what the Hawks did to Hibbert? Swap out Asik for Olynyk at C…kapow!

  • hax

    Green – Sully – Bogans – 2015 76’ers 1st round – 2015 Clippers 1st round – 2014 Celtics non-lottery pick – 2015 Celtics 1st rounder

    ^great scenario if we can actually keep our 2014 lotto pick. Honestly, 4 1st rounders, 2 fringe all-stars, and a veteran…gtfo if you don’t like that, Wolves.

    I think the real threat is the Suns. They have 3 first rounders -this year-

    • BlowfishAndTheHootie

      But isn’t that 4 likely mid to late-mid first rounders? I think they will demand a blue chip asset.

      • hax

        Yeah the only good pick there is our 17th overall 2014 pick. Gotta lowball these guys. :p At least to start.

        • BlowfishAndTheHootie

          Haha true.

  • Frank Aziza

    Kevin Love makes us a second round play off exit every year.