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Report: Flip Saunders believes he won’t get better Kevin Love offer than Celtics’

Jun 18, 2014, 10:05 AM EDT

Kevin Love, Kris Humphries, Jordan Crawford Kevin Love, Kris Humphries, Jordan Crawford

Kevin Love keeps indicating he wants to leave Minnesota, but his fate – at least for next season – rests with the Timberwolves.

For now, they’re slow-playing.

If they’re doing it to give themselves time to impress Love, it won’t work.

If they’re doing it to leverage better offers, that might be working.

Not long ago, a report emerged the Bulls had made a better Love offer than the Celtics. Since, the Rockets have fallen out of the bidding and Boston has reportedly moved up the ladder.

Chad Ford of ESPN:

I continue to get strong signals that the Celtics are trying hard to use pick No. 6 and 17 along with future No. 1s and young players such as Jared Sullinger or Kelly Olynyk to persuade the Minnesota Timberwolves to trade them Kevin Love. One source close to the Wolves said that while Flip Saunders does not want to trade Love, he realizes the team likely will lose him this summer and the package the Celtics are offering is probably the best he’s going to get.

It’s not clear whether Boston upgraded its offer to pass Chicago or whether Ford has different sources than Jackie MacMullan, who reported the Bulls had – at that point – a better offer than the Celtics. It’s possible the Timberwolves aren’t all on the same page. Saunders, though he is both team president and head coach, probably lacks sole authority to trade Love. Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has been vocal about the situation.

In the end, all perspectives might align with Love headed (back) to Boston.

As I wrote before, the Celtics are loaded with draft picks to offer in a trade. Unless another team ridiculously overcompensates Minnesota, Boston has the assets to land Love. It’s just a matter of how much they’re willing to part with to land him.

Sound like the answer might be “enough.”

  1. rrhoe - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    Too much!!!!!

    • lphboston - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      Longtime Celtics fan here, and I agree with you, rrhoe.
      6 and 17, OK.
      6 and 17, plus Sullinger, still ok.
      But 6 and 17, plus Sullinger and more No. 1s, and maybe Olynyk — way too much.
      Unless Ainge has a Rondo deal in place for draft picks coming, in which case what’s the point of even trading for Love if Rondo won’t be here?

      Love would be the first of several deals the Celtics would need to re-tool the roster. Assuming the Carmelo thing is nonsense, Boston could finally take Asik off Houston’s hands (sounds like he’s available for next to nothing), then maybe move Bradley and/or Bass and/or Green for a small forward who can get to the rim.

      The one non-rotation player I would hang on to is Humphries, who plays hard all the time, never complains, doesn’t seem to sit out with minor injuries and gives legit size off the bench. He can be effective in Stevens’s system.

    • j0esixpack - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:13 PM

      Let’s just say strikes me as a more than fair deal for Minnesota

      Ainge has a history of finding guys like Olynyk and Sullinger – and while they have potential the long term jury is still out. But add them to two 1st round draft picks and Minnesota has a solid base on which to rebuild.

      If Ainge can keep his future #1 picks aquired from the Nets and others, bring in Love with Rondo long term, you’ve got two SOLID players to build a championship contender around.

      I’d be happy to give up Sullinger and Olynyk plus this years draft picks to do a quick franchise turnaround – perhaps not the Worst to First that Ainge pulled off before, but with all those extra #1 draft picks Ainge aquired he’s got more than enough to use on (or trade) for other starters this year or the next several

      It’s a fair trade all around

    • j0esixpack - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      Let’s also keep in mind that Saunders isn’t the only one with a say in where Love goes

      Love gets to decide that if he makes clear he will not sign long term with a club. And while Love is wise not to publicly shut any doors, he made a VERY public visit to Boston to be openly courted (so to speak!)

      I don’t recall Love continuing that tour with other cities like Chicago and Cleveland. If there’s a city that appears to be a top contender on Kevin Love’s wish list, it’s Boston (which brings with it a ton of history and additional endorsement earnings potential – much more so than Cleveland or even Chicago)

    • mcjon22 - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:30 PM

      Why would Kevin Love sign an extension with Boston? Big market yes, but that’s not a very impressive roster right now. If Boston is shipping out sullinger and multiple 1st round picks, how is that roster any better than what he’s leaving behind in Minnesota?

      Outside of landing Garnett and Allen thru trades, his track record doesn’t scream team builder. Those Boston teams were terrible until Garnett and Allen walked thru that door.

      • naterich21 - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:22 PM

        Because Boston is in the East. Look at what happened to the Wizards, if they didn’t choke they would’ve made it to the East Finals

      • j0esixpack - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:23 PM

        I’m confused as to how everyone is giving credit to Ainge for having the savvy to draft Sullinger and Olynyk – so much so that many don’t think they should be given up

        … only to say that Ainge doesn’t have the ability to draft similar complimentary or role players with the other numerous #1 draft picks he has (or trade them for proven players to re-build quicker as other $ comes off the books)

        Will this be an immediate turnaround from worst to first as with 2007? Probably not.

        Has Ainge put the Celtics in a much better situation than most other rebuilding teams? Absolutely. Love appears to recognize this or else he’d be openly lobbying against a trade rather than a not so subtle effort to get himself traded to Boston

        It seems like Kevin Love is convinced – which is much more important than convincing mcjon22

  2. ghostofcraigehlo - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    It’s hard to judge, but isn’t that offer from Boston a better haul than OKC got for Harden? They need a pick in this year’s draft and I do not think they are going to do better than #6. That being said, I can understand why Minnesota would not want to do a trade again with Boston.

  3. rrsm53 - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    That would be a ridiculous trade on the part of the Celtics. I can see a #1 this year and one in the future and maybe a second rounder thrown in but no way Sullinger and Olynyk also that is absurd if Ainge does that he is a bigger tool than i already think he is.

    • kb2408 - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:46 AM

      I’m a big Love fan but I must agree with you. Way too much. Boston ain’t good enough to gut their team for a player that’s not a true franchise player. Love is great but there are only a few true franchise players in the NBA.

      • loubearkane - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:02 AM

        Yeah that would be 5 -6 First Rd picks

        Sullinger and #6 should be enough

      • fanofthegame79 - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:05 AM

        I agree. Kevin Love is good, but he’s not a franchise changer. He’ll need more around him aside from Rondo. This sounds too much like the deal that the Knicks pulled for Melo (meaining it’s too much risk and not enough reward).

      • simoneauchristopher5 - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:32 PM

        They gutted the roster in 07, keeping only Pierce. Miami did the same in 2010. This is the right move, they’ll be fine.

  4. therealdave123 - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    Always trade for the proven commodity to replace question marks like draft picks. You have no idea how those will turn out. I wouldn’t like giving up Sullinger, I have no problem in parting with Olynyk. Sullinger can be a solid starting big man in the NBA while Olynyk is replaceable coming off the bench.

  5. adoombray - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    I do not want to trade Jared Sullinger for Kevin Love if that means the C’s miss out on a blue chip Center. Sullinger is a strong two way PF who does all the dirty work and has that Kevin Garnett “don’t mess with me” edge to his play. We love him here in Boston. If Sullinger is part of the package, then the C’s need the number 6 to draft a 7 footer who actually plays defense otherwise Love is going to have the same problem’s in Boston that he did in Minny.

    • kinggw - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      Sullinger is a horrible defender. Don’t let your homerism get in the way of objectivity.

      • bkbell3 - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:23 PM

        And sullinger plays the same position as love but love is not going to resign with Boston. Their not close enough for him to stay 4-5 years.

  6. badge3832 - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    Can somebody explain why Love would want to play in Boston? Minnesota has a better team. I thought he wanted to play for a contender.

    • simoneauchristopher5 - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      Boston is in the East, which makes it much easier to get to the finals..Minnesota may have a better roster today, but wait til the season starts then talk to me.

    • j0esixpack - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:01 PM

      Umm – Minnesota has a better team than the current Celtics (without Rondo) WITH Love. But he doesn’t want to play there – he’s been there long enough to know they’ll continue to be mediocre and in addition to a max contract, a city like Boston, in the heart of New England, with an historic franchise, equals basketball history plus millions in endorsements

      Ainge, unlike Minnesota – also has about a dozen 1st round draft picks – and has a history of going “worst to first” and Boston is a much more lucrative endorsement market than Minnesota

      So the reasons Love would want to play in Boston as opposed to Minnesota is a long one

      The question comes down to where Love wants to play – not even where Saunders wants to trade him – and thus far Boston has to be considered the leading contender seeing as Love went out of his way to make a very public trip to scope out the region

  7. bigbenh8tr - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    That would still suck for Love because the Celtics will not be a contender. Wake me up when Rondo starts to put in the hours in his jump shot. We saw the developments for John Wall last year when he put in the effort but he still needs to improve on it even more for the Wizards to remain a solid team bc they will lose Gortat or Ariza soon.
    Rondo 11.9 PPG
    Wall 19 PPG

  8. kb2408 - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    I think this deal would suck for Boston, as much as I like Love. If it does happen at least billbitely53 will have a new object of affection to replace his man crush on Kevin Garnett.

    • billtetley53 - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      You just cant help yourself can you?

      1st off, youve been claiming for months that Love will be in L A. (Remember the retired #42 is waiting for him?) Youre such an idiot.
      Second, when you spit Kobes nuts out of your mouth, itll be the 1st time in 17 years they will be dry.

      Yep, Im a fan of Garnett. But Im not worshipping him like a star struck middle school girl like you do with Kobe.
      Im also not going to cry like a baby when he retires, like you said yourself youd do whwn Kobe retires. Youre 41 man, isnt it time you acted like a man?

      Seriously, you do know that what you type here is on the web forever, right?
      Its simple to show you your ignorance frim the past.

      Im still waiting for your reply about July, CS.

      • kb2408 - Jun 18, 2014 at 6:07 PM

        I have respect for my elders, old man. And I’m glad to know all my comments are here forever. That means I can gloat for a long time about picking the Spurs in 5 or 6 AND Kawhi for MVP! Nailed it, clown.

  9. FlashPatterson - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    Sully and the first rounders would be great

  10. lbeezyse - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    If I’m Flip $ Bos offers Sully, Olynyk, 2 firsts this year + 1st non protected next year I pull the trigger. The Wolves will be the better team next year & still get Bos more than likely lottery pick. If Rubio develops his jumper with a healthy Pek and Martin, they could sneak into the playoffs while Love misses out yet again. He is good, but he is not a franchise cornerstone. He is Wade to Lebron & Bosh. His #s will decline in a new uniform, just watch.

    • therealhtj - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:09 AM

      If Boston’s trades for Love and is still in the lottery after the trade, Love’s a Laker in 2015. That would be some sweet irony.

      • kinggw - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:50 AM

        I don’t think they make the trade without him agreeing to an extension.

      • j0esixpack - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:00 PM

        I think it’s pretty much common sense that the trade isn’t happening without Love agreeing to an extension – so that’s NOT going to happen.

    • bkbell3 - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      Rubio has been playing professionally since he was 14 years old, he is shooting 38% for his career in the nba and he can’t finish at the rim and he gets steals but is a ghost on defense. I doubt his jumper is going to improve much. Plus Minn.problem is they are to un-althetic across the whole team.

  11. nicofthenorthstar - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    Good. Send that byatch to the eastern conference where the sledding is easier. he can blend in with defenders like Dwayne wade. Love is demonstrating, though, the fact that he is not the leader a team needs to really be successful. 2nd fiddle at best.

  12. asianballa - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    draft picks are fine and dandy, but sullinger and Kelly O as your young assets?? Come on, did any of them 2 started for boston last year?

    the rockets lack picks but parson is more accomplished and just as young….

  13. peterjohnjoseph - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    It obviously has nothing to do with “this” Celtics team. I just believe Love thinks the Celtics have more ability to become a contender. Proven track record of ownership doing what needs to be done, spending the money, etc. He’s looking for winning culture from what I can surmise. After six years I think he’s lost faith in Minnesota’s understanding of that culture and do what it takes mentality. I also believe he’s attracted the the Celtics lore. He grew up a Bird fan. If he has the confidence in himself and believes he can be a key cog in a championship wheel, what better way to do it than having his name attached to, and mentioned in the same vein as that type of legacy. Sort of cementing his place in history. Only time will tell if he deserves that destignation, but I believe that it what he’s attracted to.

    • peterjohnjoseph - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:06 AM

      That was supposed to be a reply to kb2408’s post asking why he would choose this team. I clicked the reply button and it still created it’s own post. It might even create another separate post with the reply I’m typing now. Sorry, I get annoyed as all hell when I see replies unattached like that. I also misspelled “designation”.

    • badge3832 - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      Kevin Love was three years old when Bird played his last game.

  14. thenewyorker718 - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    Um Rondo does put hours into his jump shot , he’s coming off an injury so don’t make too much of this last season . Rondo is the best PURE pg in the league & I mean that as being a floor general & dimer & he’s an extension of the coach on the floor . Love would benefit greatly from that . If Jeff Green would just stop settling for being an average player he could average 22 easily . Don’t think they should trade Sullinger & if they do they can’t part ways with BOTH first rounders this year because we still need a big man to protect the rim & rebound with love . Looking forward to seeing Love in a Celtics Jersey

  15. norcalsportsknowledge - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    He’s just trying to drive up the price. Love would be a 1/2 year rental. Boston would just have to trade him at trade deadline. He’s not resigning on a team w/little chance at title.

  16. malek773 - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Boston doesn’t do this unless love signs an extention and he’s not signing an extention with a team that isn’t a contender right now. These are smoke screens by Saunders to try and get Chicago to outbid itself.

    • bkbell3 - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      No one signs an extension anymore unless they’re coming off their rookie contract because as a free agent you can get 5 years and 7.5% raises and an extension can only equal 4 years total including the year your in if it’s your last year and if you have this year and another year you can only sign a 2 year ext. plus this year and next year for a total of 4 years. Plus i believe the raises are only 4.5% instead of 7.5%

      • malek773 - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:22 PM

        So Paul George, Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving, John Wall didn’t sign extentions? I think you are mistaken.

      • bkbell3 - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:31 PM

        Malek773, they did COMING off their ROOKIE contracts and they would of been restricted free agents if their teams hadn’t locked them up with their first big pay days. So far NO great rookie has not signed a big extension coming off their rookie contract and like Kyrie Irving is going to do this year.Some guys like Bledsoe and Parson chandler weren’t offered extensions cause their teams want to let them be restricted free agents and let the market set their price. The key phrase was COMING OFF THEIR ROOKIE CONTRACTS.

      • bkbell3 - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        Also I think their is a provision that you can designate one player as a franchise player coming off their rookie contract and give him a 5 year extension which Minn. didn’t do with love because they wanted to save it for Rubio down the road,Which is why love only signed a 4 year extension but got an op-out clause after three years.Again that’s why Melo isn’t signing an extension now because he could only add 3 years to his contract this year for a total of 4 years and only 4.5% raises each year. After this year he can get 5yrs with 75% raises.

    • therealhtj - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      That only applies to guys coming off their rookie deals – Vets don’t get the same consideration and are limited to 3 year (including the current season) extensions like Kobe just signed. It’s in the CBA, for reals. You should check it out before you start proclaiming Love as the next Larry.

      • bkbell3 - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:02 PM

        Therealhtj, I believe you can sign an extension for 3 years plus the year your in for a total of four years. That’s what Love did a few years ago and read my comment above that posted just after yours did

      • therealhtj - Jun 18, 2014 at 4:00 PM

        Sometime around the trade deadline, you can get another full 3 (like the Bulls were trying to get Deng to sign), but again, why would he agree to that leaving 25-45 mil MINIMUM on the table. If he could get a guaranteed 4 years and close to 90mil today, even in Minnesota, you don’t think he’d take that?

        Doesn’t change the fact that Boston should do everything in their power to try and draw a star to their team. They’ll just have to spend a year trying to convince him it’s worth staying. Look on the bright side – there’s no Kobe there to scare him away.

      • bkbell3 - Jun 18, 2014 at 5:57 PM

        Yea,I know how it works, i just laid it out over 3 comments. But Boston isn’t going to give up the farm just to rent Love for one year and risk him walking to another team for a 4 year max contract. I seriously doubt he is going to resign with Boston.{see Dwight Howard} I never said anything about him taking an extension. My original comment was that NO ONE not coming off their rookie contract is going to sign an extension when like with melo he can resign with the knicks for 5 years with 7.5% raises or walk to another team for a 4 year max contract with 4.5% raises.

      • therealhtj - Jun 18, 2014 at 6:05 PM

        4 years and smaller raises didn’t stop Dwight Howard. If they think they’ll be happier in another place, they’ll roll the dice on a 4 year deal. The starting salary is the same. They’ll get an opt out after 3 and then sign for another full 5.

        The only things the FA loses is a guaranteed 5th year (which only comes into play if they get hurt) and 3% in raises per year for seasons 2 & 3. It makes the decision to leave a bad situation for a better one none too difficult.

  17. campcouch - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    He should’ve just rode out the next year and went where he wanted. I guess he did do the T-Wolves a solid by putting them on notice,but it’s going to be hard for Minnesota to get a package that’s at least agreeable for them and him.

  18. simoneauchristopher5 - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    I could have sworn there was a commenter on this site who’s been saying this for MONTHS….btw- don’t be surprised if Bradley is part of this in a sign and trade.

  19. bhinrichs9 - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    Positioning. I think Saunders wants that #1 pick from Cleveland. Get Gilbert going! Get Gilbert going!

  20. peopletrains - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    If that’s the offer from the Celts, based on the picks alone, the Wolves would be crazy not to take it.

  21. peopletrains - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    Love is pretty injury prone. Flip is rolling the dice if he waits until mid-season.

  22. jollyjoker2 - Jul 26, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    don’t worry celts – Flippy is so wishy washy, I am pretty sure he won’t pull the trigger. Its how he is.

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