Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo gave the Boston Celtics fans reason to believe the abortion that was the 2014 season will go down as a bump in the road between championship runs:
The Boston Celtics have emerged as an increasingly intriguing destination for Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love, and the Celtics’ draft position coming out of Tuesday night’s lottery could be telltale in determining the feasibility of a trade, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
If the lottery percentages hold to form, Boston would draft in the No. 5 slot, which could hold appeal to Minnesota in this talent-rich draft. If Boston moves up and cracks one of the top three spots, general manager Danny Ainge would have a more difficult decision to make on using the pick in a deal for Love.
Love’s representatives with Excel Sports are pushing Timberwolves president Flip Saunders to find a trade acceptable to them before the beginning of summer free agency in July – preferably by the June 26 NBA draft, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Love plans to opt out of his contract in the summer of 2015 and leave Minnesota as a free agent, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Love, 25, wants a chance to play for an immediate contender, but has an open mind about multiple destinations in the league, sources said. In six NBA seasons, Love has yet to reach the playoffs in Minnesota.
The Houston Rockets also plan to make a run at a trade for Love, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Officials believe Love’s close relationship and respect for coach Kevin McHale could give the Rockets an edge. Golden State, Phoenix, the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago are among those also planning to pursue Love deals with an eye on signing him to a long-term extension.
Love has no veto power over a trade, but it is unlikely any team will unload significant assets for him without an assurance he’ll re-sign a max contract.
Houston doesn’t have the draft picks to offer Minnesota, but does have appealing young players in Chandler Parsons and Omer Asik to include in packages. McHale acquired Love for the T’wolves with a draft-night trade and coached him. Beyond McHale, Houston could offer Love an immediate chance to be part of a contender.
Still, Boston is the sleeper gathering momentum in a process that is still beginning to unfold. The three top prospects in the draft – Kansas’ Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins and Duke’s Jabari Parker – could become franchise cornerstone players in the NBA. Nevertheless, Boston has multiple picks to offer in the next several years as part of a total package for Love, as well as the salary-cap space to perhaps take back an unwanted contract from Minnesota.
Love’s agent Jeff Schwartz and Ainge have a strong relationship and a good working history. Ainge helped another Schwartz client, Paul Pierce, get to a preferred trade destination in Brooklyn a year ago. The Celtics believe they can sell Love on becoming the next big Celtics star, and all the adulation that comes with that for a franchise that has won 17 NBA championships.
There are rumors, and then there are rumors confirmed by Woj. This is like when Joe Lunardi says your team is getting into the tournament. It means there’s a damn good chance it’s going to happen. It’s completely believable of course because ripping off Minnesota is a specialty of Danny Ainge. Trader Danny is turning into the dooshnozzle boyfriend who pretends to be the nice guy in order to deflower the prom queen. If he pulls this one off the state of Minnesota should probably ban Ainge from coming anywhere near the place.
The part I didn’t understand is this:
“If Boston moves up and cracks one of the top three spots, general manager Danny Ainge would have a more difficult decision to make on using the pick in a deal for Love.”
Look, I don’t care what pick the Celtics have in the draft. It doesn’t matter. If you can trade ANY pick for Kevin Love you do it yesterday. I have no faith whatsoever in the NBA lottery. For every Kevin Durant there are three or four Greg Oden’s. You know what Joel Embid COULD be some day? He COULD be Kevin Love. But Kevin Love will always be Kevin Love. It just makes no sense to test your luck with a draft pick when you have a sure thing lined up.
So yea, this isn’t a difficult decision at all. If it’s real then Danny Ainge simply must make the trade immediately.
This year’s NBA draft is strikingly similar to the 2007 draft when the Celtics got the shaft with the #5 overall pick. Of course we know now that this was the ultimate blessing in disguise as the Celtics traded the rights to draft Jeff Green to the Seattle Supersonics for Ray Allen, which in turn brought us Kevin Garnett. The rest is history.
Like 2007, the 2014 draft is deep and top heavy. But what the hell does that even mean anyway? Anyone remember Yi Jianilian? How about Brandon Wright? Julian Wright? A.C. Law? How’d those guys turn out? We’re gonna be asking those same questions about at least half of the following players: Jabari Parker, Joel Embid, Marcus Smart, Andrew Wiggins, Dante Exum, Julius Randle.
So why would ANYONE not want to trade a pick that could potentially turn out to be Yi Jianlian? I don’t care that Love has never reached the playoffs, dude is a freak of nature and a Top 5 player in the NBA. He’s a guaranteed 25 PPG, 12 RPG, 4 APG. He’s 25 years old. He actually made the Timberwolves, a franchise that is damned by God, a somewhat competitive team in the West. If the T-Wolves played in the East they’d be the Atlanta Hawks and they’d be in the playoffs every single year.
He’d be insane to agree to go to Houston, and I would lose all faith in Kevin Love as a human being if he did so. You know who plays in Houston? Dwight Howard and James Harden. You know what those two have in common? Neither has ever won anything their entire lives because they’re selfish dooshnozzle, professional losers. Watch Harden’s defensive highlights from this season. Pay special attention to the bearded guy who looks like he just picked up Islam in Cell Block D:
So yea, if he chooses the Rockets over the Celtics then Love is a moron. Come to Boston and help rebuild the winningest franchise in NBA history. Come to Houston and never win anything. The choice is made even more obvious by the fact that going to the East means all you have to do to make the NBA Finals is to beat the Heat. In the West pretty much everyone is always good. The choice is obvious.
What really sucks is that this is unfortunately how the NBA works. You have to purposely blow an entire season, get draft picks, and then splurge on a superstar. But hey, that’s just how it works. Whether or not the Celitcs hang onto Rondo and Jared Sullinger is still up in the air. But at this point they have all the assets they need to finally blow this shit up and give Boston the winning team we crave.
Feel free to share your thoughts to keep the conversation going.