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Report: Add Celtics, Rockets to the list of teams ready to make a run at trading for Kevin Love

May 18, 2014, 9:31 PM EDT

Kevin Love, Quincy Acy Kevin Love, Quincy Acy

When it rains it pours, and once the initial reports emerged stating that Kevin Love will be looking to leave Minnesota as a free agent following the conclusion of next season, the floodgates opened with speculation of teams Love could end up with should the Timberwolves choose to trade him before that decision can be made.

The Warriors and Bulls are considered the leading destinations for Love if he were to be traded, mainly because he would need to agree to sign a max contract in his new situation in order for teams to give up the types of assets required to obtain his services. The Knicks, Lakers, and Suns are further down the list in some order, and a couple of other teams have come forward as ones that will be sure to take part in the bidding process.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

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. …

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.

Let’s start with the Celtics. While a top-five pick in what appears to be a very deep draft is a great place to begin in terms of offers for Love, assuming Rajon Rondo stays (and that’s a huge assumption), is that really going to be perceived as an upgrade, or a better situation in Love’s mind to get him to sign there long-term? It’s tough to envision, at least as that roster is currently constructed.

The Rockets are more intriguing due to the star power already in place with Dwight Howard and James Harden, but the biggest knock on Love has been his defense, and Houston is already awful enough in that area that they were run out of the gym by an athletic Blazers team full of shooters in the first round of the playoffs this season.

Go ahead and add Boston and Houston to the long list of suitors, but neither make a whole lot of sense if Love’s goal is to play for a large market franchise that’s poised to win in the somewhat immediate future.

  1. mnsadsportsfan - May 18, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    Its inevitable. Flip do not be stubborn!

  2. antistratfordian - May 18, 2014 at 9:38 PM

    Love is a fine addition as long as you have someone a little more reliable as your go-to scorer.

    • sportsfan18 - May 19, 2014 at 5:33 PM

      Well, Love was 4th in the league in scoring…

      There is a stat that lists the “Points per shot Leaders” and Love was 9th on that list this past season…

      Scoring the 9th MOST points per shot in the league this past season sort of defines him as being a reliable scorer.

      Another thing why he is reliable is because he shoots well from deep (has a higher career 3 pt % than Melo for their careers)…

      Love also shoots well from the free throw line too at .815% in his career.

      So, when you can finish inside, shoot well from deep and score when they put you on the stripe, you end up in the TOP TEN for points per shot in the league…

      man, if Love could only score more reliably… like maybe be in the top ten in the whole league or something…

      oh, this is for Melo fans… he was 41st in the league this past season in points per shot… he scores a lot because he shoots a lot…

      • sportsfan18 - May 19, 2014 at 5:43 PM

        All of this is from HoopsHype.

        In the ongoing quest to deliver meaningful sports statistics to information-hungry fans, basketball continues to lag behind baseball.

        In basketball, far too much value is afforded to the age-old Total Points and Points Per Game (PPG) statistics. Of course points are critical to winning a basketball game (but no more critical than preventing one’s opponent from scoring!), but nearly every NBA player, given enough shots, can score above average or even “impressive” point totals.

        An underappreciated statistic that I’d like to see discussed more frequently is one that can be easily deduced from every box score: Points Per Shot (PPS). This statistic measures the number of points a player scores per field goal attempt ((Total Points)/(Field Goal Attempts)). This statistic would favor players who were efficient shooters from all parts of the floor where they take shots, even if they don’t take that many total shots. It would also favor players who worked hard to get to the free throw line and then converted there, as points are earned without having utilized an official field goal attempt. PPS would not favor the 2001-02 Allen Iverson, who posted 31.4 ppg on 40 field goal shooting and under 30 percent from beyond the arc; despite his All-Star accolades, his PPS was a meager 1.13.

        To put this statistic into action, compare the following scoring stats of Player A and Player B:

        FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FA Points PPS
        Player A 12-27 2-6 6-8 30 1.11
        Player B 5-9 1-2 9-10 20 2.22
        Player A 12-27 from floor
        Player A 2-6 from 3 pt range
        Player A 6-8 from free throw line
        Player A 1.11 points per shot attempt.

        Player B 5-9 from floor
        Player B 1-2 from 3 pt range
        Player B 9-10 from free throw line
        Player B 2.22 points per shot.

        Even though Player A scored 30 points to Player B’s 20 points, Player B was 100% MORE efficient at scoring his points.

        Only EIGHT men in the entire NBA this past season scored MORE points per shot than Love did…

        The point per shot is great because it counts ALL shots, be they 3 pointers, 2 point shots and all free throws.

        Whenever the ball left Kevin Love’s hands this past season for the basket, ONLY 8 players were able to score more than him when the ball left their hands to go to the basket…

        There are NOT many more reliable scorers than Love in the NBA to have on your team…

        So did Player A or Player B have the better game? In this example, Player A had a 30-point game and outscored Player B by 10 points. While most would acknowledge that Player B had a good game, many would look at Player A’s 30 points and say that he was the better player. Yet, on 1/3 as many shots as Player A, Player B scored 2/3 as many points. Thus, Player B’s efficiency was 100 percent greater than that of Player A.

      • antistratfordian - May 19, 2014 at 5:51 PM

        No no no… you misunderstood what I meant by “reliable”…

        When your team is down 2 points in the clutch and absolutely needs a bucket, you would prefer to go to a scorer who can get you a high percentage shot. Love is not that guy. In the clutch his preferred shot is a low percentage three. In fact, the majority of his game winning / game tying shot attempts under 30 seconds are three point attempts. He’s supposed to be a PF but he thinks he’s Jamal Crawford.

        You would love to be able to go to Love in the post in a clutch situation and have him get a really high percentage look – but that’s not his game. And that’s what makes him an unreliable scorer.

        That’s also why he has a hard time winning in this league. If his offense was more oriented around high percentage shots he would’ve been in the playoffs already.

      • sportsfan18 - May 19, 2014 at 8:44 PM

        thanks for clarifying…

        I did take it a different way…

  3. chex1868 - May 18, 2014 at 9:45 PM

    Laker

    • sportsfan18 - May 19, 2014 at 8:42 PM

      Love scored the 9th MOST points per shot this past season in the NBA…

      points per shot looks at all shots, 3 pointers, 2 pointers and free throws…

      So, when the ball left Love’s this hand this past season, ONLY 8 other players in the entire league scored more points per shot when the ball left their hands on their shots…

      Love shoots well from outside so this helps as he has a higher career 3 pt percentage than Melo.

      Love shoots well from the free throw line too, for a big or anyone as his career % is .815

      There are NOT that many more reliable scorers than Love in the league.

      Just Google “points per shot”

  4. eugenesaxe1 - May 18, 2014 at 9:49 PM

    The funny part was when you mentioned HOUs defense as awful vs. the Blazers, who are very familiar with bad defense. And who exactly is going to cut back on shooting? Harden? Howard? Are they going to hand Love a max deal and say “Shoot less”?

  5. chicagosports2014 - May 18, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    1.drose
    2.lance Stephenson
    3.jbutler
    4.tgibson
    5.jnoah

    Paul Pierce and Gasol off the bench to bag up 3 and 5

    • chicagosports2014 - May 18, 2014 at 10:07 PM

      1st option is Carmelo Anthony though.

    • kb2408 - May 18, 2014 at 10:23 PM

      Dude, I like all those players but that would be a horrible starting 5. Who would score for them? No one knows what type of player Rose is going to be, so you can’t expect the “old” Rose that coils score 25 a night. And even if he comes back better than ever, none of those other dudes are scorers.That starting 5 would be the lowest scoring 5 in NBA history!

      • kb2408 - May 18, 2014 at 10:25 PM

        *could*

      • chicagosports2014 - May 19, 2014 at 12:59 AM

        Stephenson, Gasol, Pierce can get there own shot. Point guard isn’t a big issue with Thibs, we just need points

      • duhwighthoward - May 19, 2014 at 8:52 AM

        Who would score for them? Better go back to NBA 2K, and leave real basketball talk to the grown-ups.

      • moseskkim - May 19, 2014 at 11:56 AM

        just saying, but taj gibson can score pretty well. with a starting role, i see 18/11 a night. jimmy 15, noah 13, drose who knows but if somewhat healthy 20, lance 15. i mean were not talking about a bunch of reggie evans here.

    • malek773 - May 19, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      If the Bulls sign Stephenson that would be a joke. He’s a ball hog and he’s overrated. They need to go after Carmelo or Love. If neither come over work on bringing Mirotic over. I’d much rather him in the lineup over Stephenson.

  6. simoneauchristopher5 - May 18, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    I’ve been saying Love to Boston since last summer; they have the resources, cap space and it IS a big market. They’ll add another good player in free agency or a trade and they’ll contend in the East again. I don’t know why you bloggers are so insistent on saying Boston isn’t a destination for top free agents and guys looking for trades; you’re wrong, just ask Kevin Garnett (signed long term after his trade to Boston, re-signed in 2011), or Rasheed Wallace (unrestricted free agent in 09), or Jason Terry (unrestricted free agent in ’12). Bottom line is Boston has good owners, good coaching and they fill that arena every night, not to mention it is LOUD in there. If/when Boston does land Love, I can’t wait to see who they target next.

    • rohlo - May 18, 2014 at 10:28 PM

      minnesota isnt gonna let boston fleece them again like thye did with garnett!

    • kb2408 - May 18, 2014 at 10:29 PM

      Love will not sign long term with Boston. Elite free agents do not want to play there. Yeah, I know, KG signed there. But they had to first get Ray and then twisted KG’s arm to get him there. That was an anomaly.

    • duhwighthoward - May 19, 2014 at 8:56 AM

      You are a big-time tool. You cite signing Rasheed Wallace in ’09 as evidence of a top free agent. He was washed up, out of shape, and no one else wanted him.

      • acieearl - May 19, 2014 at 10:06 AM

        The Magic, Spurs, and Mavericks all top tier teams at the time had meetings or meetings scheduled with Rasheed at the time. I would say that Wallace counts in this situation. He was not at the top of his game at the time but still a valuable contributor off the bench.

      • duhwighthoward - May 19, 2014 at 1:18 PM

        I guess you’re a tool too. Thanks for clearing the air.

        Let me guess your top free agents for next year: Steve Nash, Gilbert Arenas, Chauncy Billups and Juwan Howard.

  7. jacobk621 - May 18, 2014 at 10:13 PM

    Celtics would be his best landing spot as far as marketing , he’s white and could promote him Larry Bird the 2nd !!

    • JHathwell - May 18, 2014 at 10:25 PM

      If Larry Bird was a loser who hadn’t made the Playoffs once in 7 seasons, couldn’t guard a bag of popcorn, was a terrible shooter in the clutch and didn’t know how to lead.

      • antistratfordian - May 19, 2014 at 4:12 AM

        Jeez… that’s kind of harsh. Now that’s what I call a Love hate relationship! ba-dum ching!

      • JHathwell - May 19, 2014 at 2:50 PM

        There’s no evidence yet that Love is anything more than an empty stats player. Some team is likely to overpay for him and lock their team into mediocrity.

      • eugenesaxe1 - May 19, 2014 at 6:14 PM

        Hey now, popcorn’s got game!

      • 1historian - Jun 4, 2014 at 12:40 PM

        good one

    • acieearl - May 19, 2014 at 10:08 AM

      Who was first black player drafted? Chuck Cooper What team? Celtics Who was first black coach? Bill Russell, Where did he coach? Celtics

      • TheMorningStar - May 19, 2014 at 10:25 AM

        Don’t forget to mention that the Celtics were the first NBA team to start 5 black players.

  8. pharohislife - May 18, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    Rondo, Love, and Asik ain’t bad in a Weak A s s Eastern Conference. Celtics and Rockets have been linked in rumors involving Asik all year and it would still be a possibility for the C’s to get him even after acquiring Love. A Top 5 Point Guard in Rajon Rondo, a High-Scoring and Rebounding PowerFoward in Kevin Love, and another Monster Rebounding but also Rim Protecting Center in Omer Asik, helping to aid and Cover some of Love’s deficiencies. If you ask me that’s at least a Top 5 Team in the East.

    • rohlo - May 18, 2014 at 10:29 PM

      asik woould be part of a rondo trade..thats only way he ends up in boston.

  9. rohlo - May 18, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2067907-report-houston-rockets-planning-to-make-run-at-kevin-love-trade?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=programming

  10. peopletrains - May 18, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    At least Kahn isn’t there to mess this up if they pull the trigger.

  11. thekingdave - May 18, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    @simoneauchristopher5

    Ah, the joys of being 16. Please reference Mike Bibby’s 2008 postseason comments before you begin thumping your chest about being “loud”.

  12. lakerade - May 18, 2014 at 11:21 PM

    An offseason haiku for this uncertain time in Laker history:

    So much is in flux.
    Prospect of Love via trade.
    Worth losing draft pick?

  13. ranfan12 - May 18, 2014 at 11:47 PM

    who would be traded for kevin love in the rockets? they cant possibly be trading howard. parsons, lin, asik? Those names have popped the most, but with lin’s contract, that’s going to be a difficult deal

    • spursareold - May 19, 2014 at 9:50 AM

      Asik’s contract is no daisy, either. No daisy, ‘t’all.

  14. jetnotjets - May 18, 2014 at 11:53 PM

    Whoever trades for Love, it will be a 1 year rental. He wants to be a free agent. Trade scenarios are fun, but I still believe he’s going to walk away from whomever gets him to sign with the Lakers. Bet Rondo joins him in L.A. too for Kobe’s last try at a ring. Luxury tax penalties and all.

  15. spliff219 - May 18, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    The Bulls have the most to offer. 16th and 19th pick future 1st and Taj. I dont think they would want boozer’s exp contract. 16-18 Million?

    • malek773 - May 19, 2014 at 11:11 AM

      Only way the Bulls would do it is if he agrees to an extention. I think they’d be willing to offer Boozer, Snell, and Mirotic with the two 1s. Boozer has to be involved to make the money work. If they add Taj to the list theres no way they wouldn’t accept but I’d rather see the bulls keep taj and let him play another year as a 6th man then look to trade him in his final year for an upgrade at the 3 or 2.

  16. campcouch - May 18, 2014 at 11:58 PM

    I’m telling you,trade Love to OKC for Westbrook. KD gets a post player that can stretch,Westbrook gets to be top dog,Rubio gets a running partner,Ibaka doesn’t have to worry about Perkins stealing his lunch. Heck,with a good draft pick,the Wolves could be in the playoffs.

    • bhunter1995 - May 19, 2014 at 12:58 AM

      RW > Love, its not even close, that is a terrible trade for OKC.

  17. fnc111 - May 19, 2014 at 12:58 AM

    Let’s be honest he isn’t going to trash Boston. KLove is going to be playing for a team in California.

  18. supre7 - May 19, 2014 at 1:42 AM

    Come to Boston if you want to win Kevin Love, simple.

  19. sumkat - May 19, 2014 at 4:29 AM

    ……and Sam Hinke is smiling from ear to ear as the list of teams looking to dump salary grows and grows

  20. titansbro - May 19, 2014 at 5:22 AM

    Jesus the NBA sucks. Stars only wanna play in large markets? What is that crap? Durant is the only likable star in that whole league. The rest are spoiled primadonna babies.

  21. 1historian - May 19, 2014 at 7:03 AM

    This is getting better and better. Every year around this time this stuff heats up and this is gonna be the best year yet.

    Tomorrow night is the next chapter.

    Sam Smith says the Celts would only get him if they shipped the #1 out there. Not going to happen.

    With the Clippers’s situation the way it is they might just wind up a trainwreck next season, in which case Boston has their #1 pick.

    If Minnesota doesn’t make a deal before the draft things will get real hot leading up to the trade deadline next season.

  22. adoombray - May 19, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    No thanks. I really like Kevin Love as a player and I’ve lived all over the US – moving here to Boston was the best move I ever made. Love this city, as does just about everyone who lives in it. It’s plenty good enough to attract free agents. I just don’t like the move from a basketball perspective. Sullinger is the starting 4 and they need a defensive 5. the C’s already have a poor man’s Kevin Love with Olynyk. Love would be better on a team that doesn’t need him to play defense cuz captain knuckle pushups is a turnstyle on the defensive end.

    • jimeejohnson - May 19, 2014 at 11:22 AM

      Gonna have a big bowl of chowdah just for your comment.

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