The Kevin Love dream has been on life support for weeks for Celtics fans. We don’t know whether he is going to Cleveland, Chicago, Golden State, or some other mystery suitor, but unless Danny Ainge comes up with a miracle Hail Mary, he’s not coming to Boston.
The idea of Love coming to Boston was an appealing prospect for several legitimate reasons. It speeds up the rebuild, Love is an exciting player to watch, and it would have enhance Boston’s chances of landing a third star right away. With that said, there were potential drawbacks of any Love acquisition. Nothing that was enough to keep the C’s from trying to acquire the big man, but big picture, down the line issues. In a piece for Boston.com this week, I flipped the script and took a look at a few reasons the Celtics may not regret missing out on Love down the line.
1) The Celtics would have had to overpay for Kevin Love in a trade
Could the Celtics have upped their offer enough before the NBA Draft (and Cleveland’s emergence as a suitor)? It’s possible, but it likely would have taken an absurd number of first rounders (think four or five) to make Saunders an offer he couldn’t refuse. An offer like that would have been an overpay, and that’s something Danny Ainge isn’t in the business of doing. Retaining those assets could be just as pivotal to building a contender long term, especially when the possibility of serious salary cap room is on the horizon.
2) A core of Love and Rondo wouldn’t have necessarily made the Celtics long-term contenders
It’s not a direct knock on either player, but a Rondo/Love led team not being a contender is a possibility. The fact that the Celtics would have had to sacrifice several young players and picks for Love would complicate things from a team-building standpoint for Ainge.
Look at it this way: In order to satisfy Love’s demands of being on a competitive team, both he and Rondo would likely need to be re-signed to long term deals when their contracts run out together next summer. The Celtics couldn’t afford to let Rondo walk and expect Love to still sign an extension. Max deals for both players would be worth five years and somewhere close to the $110 million mark, according to Larry Coon’s CBA FAQ, when you factor in estimates for the salary cap next season.
You can check out the full piece over at Boston.com including one more reason the Celtics may not regret missing out on Love. In the meantime, curious to hear everyone’s thoughts on this in the comments.