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Report: Bulls have made better trade offer than Celtics for Kevin Love

Jun 5, 2014, 1:59 PM EDT

Joakim Noah, Kevin Love Joakim Noah, Kevin Love

The Minnesota Timberwolves say they don’t want to trade Kevin Love. Seriously, they don’t. They insist.

OK, maybe they’ll trade him later. Minimum, they’ll keep him until draft night.

Despite all this posturing, the Timberwolves are getting offers for their disgruntled star player. As soon as word spread Love wants out of Minnesota – and likely even before – teams across the NBA began sending the Timberwolves trade proposals.

Minnesota can either completely ignore these offers or evaluate them. Seems like the latter is a wiser option, even if the Timberwolves don’t want to act on them.

The Bulls emerged early as a potential suitor, and the Celtics reportedly have interest too. Love fanned those flames by visiting Boston, but just two catches – the Celtics don’t have cap room, and Love isn’t a free agent anyway.

Reportedly, Boston made Minnesota an offer, though. It just isn’t good enough.

Jackie MacMullan of

The Timberwolves privately maintain they already have fielded better offers from other teams, among them the Chicago Bulls

On the merits, the Celtics can make pretty intriguing offers – more on that later – but they might have to come substantially stronger than other teams, because Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and president/coach Flip Saunders don’t jive with Boston.


Taylor still hasn’t recovered from the last seismic Minnesota-Boston transaction, which led to a Celtics championship. In fact, sources in Minnesota say, the thought of conducting another major transaction with Boston gives Taylor great pause.

Some of McHale’s friends, including Ainge, felt Saunders undermined McHale, his former college teammate, during his final days in Minnesota.

When Doc Rivers hired Saunders as a “postseason consultant” for the Celtics during the 2012 playoffs, the interaction between Flip and Ainge was minimal and noticeably cool.

MacMullan doesn’t detail Chicago’s and Boston’s offers, but both teams have plenty of assets, including all their own future first-round picks.

The Bulls could offer some combination of:

  • No. 16 pick in 2014 draft
  • No. 19 pick in 2014 draft
  • Top-10 protected pick from the Kings between 2015 and 2017
  • Better of their own and the Cavaliers’ 2015 first-round picks (as long as Cleveland falls outside the lottery)
  • Nikola Mirotic’s rights
  • Jimmy Butler
  • Taj Gibson
  • Carlos Boozer’s expiring contract (to make salaries match without making Minnesota take a long

It’s easy to see how Chicago could put together a tempting offer. It’s just a matter of how much the Bulls want to trade for a player who’s locked up for only one – maybe two – more years.

But the Celtics, if they choose, could put together a pretty impressive offer of their own. In draft picks alone, they can offer a combination of:

  • No. 6 pick in 2014 draft
  • No. 17 pick in 2014 draft
  • Lottery-protected 2015 first-round pick from 76ers (if Philadelphia misses playoffs, it becomes two second rounders)
  • 2015 Clippers first-round pick
  • 2016 Nets first-round pick
  • Better of their own and the Net’s 2017 first-round picks
  • 2018 Nets first-round pick

For example, Boston could offer some combination of its draft picks – along with Joel Anthony, Keith Bogans, Chris Johnson and either Phil Pressey or Chris Babb  to make salaries match – for Love and agree to complete the trade as soon as the July moratorium ends.

Minnesota could immediately waive Bogans, Pressey, Johnson and Babb at no cost. Only the final year of Anthony’s contract ($3.8 million) would remain on the ledger. That’s significant – and more immediate than Chicago can offer – financial relief. The obvious hang-up is which picks to include.

Boston could also include Kelly Olynyk and/or Jared Sullinger, though that adds cost to the Timberwolves. Regardless, there are options.

Without question, the Celtics have more than enough to pry Love – at least unless the Bulls have made an incredible offer that exceeds expectations.

So, MacMullan’s report tells me either Chicago is offering too much for Love or Boston has, at least so far, refused to offer enough. But if the Celtics want Love, they probably have the assets to make a strong offer.

They just haven’t yet.

  1. yesser12 - Jun 5, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    Butler or Gibson may have to go to get the deal done because Boozer’s contract is ugly though expiring. Celtics have a ton of picks and probably would like to keep some. They may need to put Green in the mix because the players you listed are not worth answering the phone for.

    • Kevin S. - Jun 5, 2014 at 5:00 PM

      The players listed are much more valuable to the Timberwolves than Jeff Green is. Those players would come off the T’Wolves cap immediately, freeing them to save money or pursue other players. Jeff Green would require them to pay $18.4 million over the next two years for a proven mediocrity. What exactly does Jeff Green do for a rebuilding team?

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 5, 2014 at 5:58 PM

        I hear you wholeheartedly on the Jeff Green comment, but what good is cap space if you got a team NO ONE is trying to play for, no matter the money?

      • eugenesaxe1 - Jun 5, 2014 at 6:15 PM

        Somebody will sign for MINN money, just not the guys MINN really wants.

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 5, 2014 at 6:24 PM

        @ eugenesaxe1

        Exactly, lol

      • Kevin S. - Jun 5, 2014 at 8:26 PM

        Ask Utah what having an extra $24 million in cap space allowed them to do.

  2. mutasian - Jun 5, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    lakers offer their lottery pick and whatever else.

    • simoneauchristopher5 - Jun 5, 2014 at 2:45 PM

      The Lakers have nothing to work with. #7 pick, & that is it.

      • loubearkane - Jun 5, 2014 at 3:56 PM

        Lakers might just be in a worse position than the Knicks and thats bad

      • asimonetti88 - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:40 PM

        I actually think if the Lakers position it right, Steve Nash could be a valuable trade piece. He is nearly $9 million expiring, and for many teams with young franchise players at the point guard spot, his leadership and mentorship could be very valuable even if he’s not on the court. Think about what he could offer a player like Rubio, Jrue Holiday, MCW or others.

        Of course, even if Nash interests a team, him and the 7th pick alone aren’t going to get marquee player. They’d have to find a way to get a third team involved.

      • lbeezyse - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:46 PM

        Give it up Lakers fans. K-Love will not be in LA ever. Maybe 8-10 years from now, but he will resign for 5 years with whatever teams trades for him sans Sac.

      • lbeezyse - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:57 PM

        Nash is virtually untradeable. Your top pick is the only thing worth anything and the lottery didn’t help LA out. Even with a 3rd team involved, LA simply doesn’t have enough to even enter the bidding war. The are the equivalent of going to Barrett Jackson with $1,000 in your pocket.

    • justtoldya - Jun 5, 2014 at 9:17 PM

      Whatever else is like some other team offering their Dleague players lol at most a bench player.

    • bigmeechy74 - Jun 5, 2014 at 10:34 PM

      The 2 most unrealistic entitled fanbases…. Lakers fans = Yankees fans. Yankees fan – “Offer ichiro, phelps, and our backup catcher for Mike trout.” Lakers fan – “How about steve nash straight up for anthony davis?”

  3. simoneauchristopher5 - Jun 5, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    Boston is going to have to give up at least 4 1st RD picks to get this done, maybe 5, and I say they absolutely will get it done. They won’t need 9 picks over the next 4 years anyways because their core players will be in their prime.

    • 1historian - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:20 PM

      Thumbs down. Waaay too early for any serious stuff – Ainge is just trolling, feeling around, seeing what is what – as is any other GM worthy of the title.

      Is Love worth 4 or 5 1st rounders? No. Is anybody? No.

      Look for things to heat up with about 6 days to go, un til then it’s just smoke and morrirs, IOW the usual (annual) B.S.

      • lbeezyse - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:49 PM

        4 low 1st round picks aren’t going to help the Wolves. They will want at least one young established player with potential, a pick or two, and salary to dump. They will not make the mistake of trading their star for a gang of misfits.

      • jcmeyer10 - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:52 PM

        Seriously, it’s not like they only get one chance to make a bid. It’s like Monopoly. If they want to accept what you consider a low ball offer then let them.

        Obviously, it was a long shot but you can’t get a feel for the price without making some low ball offers.

      • simoneauchristopher5 - Jun 5, 2014 at 5:35 PM

        How is it to early? The draft is in 3 weeks. Minnesota needs to move him early so they get a good return, so he most likely gets moved on draft night. Thumbs down all you want, I’m going to be right about this. Love wants to be in Boston and they want him badly because it makes them immediate contenders. The C’s wanted picks mainly to do exactly what they are doing right now. Watch.

  4. bs61014 - Jun 5, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    Lost in all of the excitement is that Love has trouble staying healthy.

    I wouldn’t give away the farm for a player with durability concerns.

  5. loubearkane - Jun 5, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    Boozer/Gibson/Tony Snell/#16/Top-10 protected pick from the Kings between 2015 and 2017/ Mike James, Lou Amundson & Greg Smith who add up to about $4 million and can be released after the trade.

    • lbeezyse - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:50 PM


      • loubearkane - Jun 5, 2014 at 5:04 PM

        Who you think you’re getting for Love? Curry , Lillard?
        Minny has 0 leverage , either they take a package of picks and players or he walks next year and you’re standing there holding your tootsie roll

  6. kvt7280 - Jun 5, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    Draft Picks don’t make instant stars, if I’d were the T-Wolves, get the draft picks from this years draft since it’s pretty deep, if it was Boston, get both Olynyk, Jeff Green and Sullinger and a future #1. If it were the Bulls, the draft picks from this years draft, Boozer’s contract, Butler, Mirotic and 2 future first rd pick.

    • lmoneyfresh - Jun 5, 2014 at 5:48 PM

      That would make less than zero sense for the Celtics. They want to build their team not tear down the young talent for an older player.

      And 4 1sts from the bulls? Are you out of your mind?

  7. kingperk123 - Jun 5, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    I would add green or hold green too get Carmelo….damn that’s a lot of draft picks Celtics have

    • 1historian - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:22 PM

      heh heh

      I am a Celtics’ fan

  8. lbeezyse - Jun 5, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    The Wolves have some good young talent on the roster. I’d like Butler and miriotic + their 2 first rounders for Love. I really hope Gsw give up Klay, Barnes,Lee and a pick though. That GSW scenario is ideal imo. I think we can all agree that we’re glad he won’t be joining the Lakers anytime soon if ever. He will re-sign in Chi, gs, or Bos.

    • yesser12 - Jun 5, 2014 at 3:33 PM

      lol GSW won’t be giving up all that.

      Barnes, Lee, Draymond, and a pick maybe.

      • loubearkane - Jun 5, 2014 at 3:57 PM

        Minny is not trading for Lee without Klay

  9. bhinrichs9 - Jun 5, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    Lee would fit right in and Barnes would be nice to round out the starting 5 but we would be no better than last year. Without a superstar and 4th quarter scorer its tough to win consistently in this league.

  10. mcjon22 - Jun 5, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    It depends what Minny wants to do. Do they want to go through another re-build or do they want to continue to be close to a playoff caliber team? If it’s the latter, The celtics ammo doesn’t look as appealing compared to what Chicago and Golden State can offer.

    Also depends on Love. For Minny to maximize it’s return, I would imagine Love would have to agree to re-up with whichever team acquires him, or at least opt in. If not, that trade value goes down.

  11. 2016olympics - Jun 5, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    As a Bulls fan, I’m conflicted about how Love and Noah would mesh together on the court. I’d rather see the Bulls get Melo.

    • loubearkane - Jun 5, 2014 at 3:58 PM

      That would work great together!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 00maltliquor - Jun 5, 2014 at 6:18 PM

      If it was for my team, I’d take Love hands down over Melo 101x out of 100.
      But with that being said, I think for your Bulls to best scenario would be leaving Love alone and getting Carmelo. He makes way too much sense for CHI. I really hope you guys get him and keep *key* Rose, Butler, Gibson and Noah.

  12. lbeezyse - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    If Klay isn’t part of the deal no way Flip makes it. The Bulls offer immediately is better then theirs and most every other out there.

    I see a Love/Noah combo as good to great. noah will hide Loves lack of defense.

    • jcmeyer10 - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:34 PM

      That’s scary stuff.

      • lbeezyse - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:54 PM

        A Noah/Rose/Love big three would be nasty. Scoring/defense/playmaking. I think adding Love to Chicago would immediately boost them towards the top of the East. Miami will be a tough out, but Indiana continues to have little brother issues.

        I think K-Mart or Buddinger goes back to whatever team MN trades Love to.

  13. chicagosports2014 - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    We want either Carmelo but will settle for both of them


  14. kingperk123 - Jun 5, 2014 at 5:04 PM


  15. greatmiamisportsmind - Jun 5, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    If I’m Flip, I’m looking directly at Boston. Their picks will be nice because they have decent picks this year, and the Nets picks are not lottery protected, and I don’t see them being that good any time soon.

  16. sawick48 - Jun 5, 2014 at 8:31 PM

    i had to stop reading the comments after the ones that said the lakers will give #7 and ‘whatever else’ for love…..followed by the Celtics would ‘have to give 4 maybe 5’ picks to get love……….

    deep breath sawick. deep breath.

  17. twinfan24 - Jun 5, 2014 at 8:48 PM

    Sure, they aren’t trading Love. Just like Flip isn’t going to be the next coach. Don’t believe a thing Flip says…

  18. campcouch - Jun 5, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    So if Love is so good,why would the Wolves be willing to take garbage for an All-Star. I still say they should swing a deal with OKC for Westbrook. At least you get talent for talent,Westbrook could be the alpha dog and run with Rubio,Minny keeps its draft pick,OKC gets the monster line of Ibaka,Love and Durant. I mean,it’s year 7 in KD’s career. One trip to the Finals and the West is not only a beast but the bad teams are getting better. Might be time for a shakeup.

  19. j0esixpack - Jun 5, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    Doesn’t Kevin Love himself have a bit of say in this? If he has a preference for signing for one place or another he can let this play out for the team but in the end refuse to agree to sign an extension for any team he doesn’t want to play for.

    • casualcommenter - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:13 AM

      He does. He’s reportedly made it clear to the Wolves that he’s open to a few different teams including the Warriors and Bulls, but the Timberwolves are the final decision makers.

  20. pukpokito - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:01 AM

    This is up to Kevin Love. He will make the final decision.Minnesota will give their choices as to what are the best offers they prefer and KLove will look at it and they will make the decision.
    If Owner Mr.Taylor is worried about a repeat mistake like the last one with KG with what they got, then he should avoid the Bulls offer because that looks more like that deal base on what I am seeing on this writing.
    The Celtics offer is better because it gives the Timberwolves more control as to who they will bring in as they will be good quality draft picks.After next season, the nets will be horrible and they can have their picks through Boston.Also, the Celtics have an expiring contract NOW(Ends this June) With Humphries’ $12 million contract Plus they also have that $10.4 million trade exception which can help the Timberwolves NOW in cutting salary and having space NOW.The Bulls expiring contract offer will make the Timberwolves take in that contract for one season next season.

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