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Report: Danny Ainge still working on trade to bring Kevin Love to Celtics

Jul 8, 2014, 12:31 PM EDT

Kevin Love AP

It’s been all quiet on the Kevin Love front as of late, after things got very close between the Timberwolves and the Warriors that would have sent the All-Star big man to Golden State.

Once the draft came and went, teams that possessed picks no longer had them to use in a potential trade, and with the majority of the teams most likely to be players for Love holding their collective breath on a decision from LeBron James and/or Carmelo Anthony, talks have slowed for good reason.

But one team with assets is holding out hope, and its GM is still reportedly working on setting things up to put a possible trade for Love into motion.

From Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe:

However, a league source said Monday that president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is attempting to gather assets to acquire Kevin Love, convinced he can devise a package that would entice Minnesota Timberwolves president Flip Saunders to move the three-time All-Star, who will be a free agent next season. …

According to two NBA sources, Ainge has been dogged in his pursuit of Love, and several agents believe he has the creativity to put together an attractive package.

The Celtics are essentially out of salary cap space, but they do have a $10.2 million trade exception from the Paul Pierce deal they have to use by Saturday. They also have potentially talented rookie James Young to offer in a deal. While Young was ruled out of summer league with a neck injury, there was speculation the Celtics are keeping him on ice in case of a potential deal.

It’s unclear what the Timberwolves would demand in return. Rajon Rondo is constantly involved in trade rumors, but Boston would probably like to pair him with Love if something like that were to be possible.

A more likely scenario would involve a multitude of future draft picks heading to Minnesota, along with perhaps some young talent in the form of guys like Jared Sullinger or Kelly Olynyk.

The advantage the Celtics have here is that they aren’t going to be trying to sign free agents this summer, and will likely be there as a trade partner even if deals with Love’s other preferred suitors like Chicago or Golden State never come to fruition. Love would still have to agree to sign long-term in Boston (or anywhere he may be traded) because he’ll be an unrestricted free agent next summer, and no one is going to give up legitimate assets in trade for someone who could simply bolt at the end of the season.

  1. chiadam - Jul 8, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    Sullinger, Olynyk and draft picks for Kevin Love.

    Enjoy that, Minnesota.

    • lphboston - Jul 8, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      That sounds fair, depending on how many picks.

      Boston goes into the season with both Rondo and Love, or neither. Ainge is too smart to keep Rondo until February and then get pennies on the buck at the trade deadline.

    • getlow81 - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      No chance Flip Saunders would or should take that. At this point at least. The T-Wolves got rid of the last guy who had knee and injury issues (Al Jefferson).

      – Sullinger has not only had knee problems in the past, but back problems.
      – Olynyk is nothing more than a summer league star at this point who hasn’t shown that much in the regular season.
      – Draft picks? Well any team would give up some first rounders for Kevin Love.

      The Wolves will not deal Love until Melo decides where to go. Once that happens, the teams that missed out on Melo will be willing to give up more to trade for Love. It makes no sense for them to deal him until then at the earliest.

  2. k3nn3k - Jul 8, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    This would be the most boring trade ever (except for Boston fans obviously). But Kevin Love going from the horrible Twolves and being traded to the horrible Celtics…pretty much means that he still isn’t going to win. It might take another 2-3 years at least for them to be good IF Love is traded or they can continue to spiral down and be the next Minnesota.

    If I were Love I would want max contract, and since he has the options available, a winning environment.

    Sorry Boston, but you can proceed to down vote now.

    • dominwindhamnh - Jul 8, 2014 at 1:33 PM

      Jealous much? 17 rings, pal, and 18 coming up.

    • AZ Dem - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      If the Celtics land Love, they’re just one player away from a championship run.

  3. lunds007 - Jul 8, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    Need to do a 3 way deal with Houston!
    Rockets get Smart, and role player (Sullinger or Olynyk)
    Boston gets Love, and possibly Barea
    Minnesota gets Parsons, Young, other role player (Sullinger or Olynyk) and possibly future pick

    Doesn’t this help all teams involved?

    • kjereld615 - Jul 8, 2014 at 1:06 PM

      So essentially Houston comes out of this with a rookie PG in Smart and either Olynyk and Sullinger for Parsons? Why would they make this trade? Houston would require much more in order to not only give up Parsons but to just get involved. Maybe adding a Nikola Peković and Kevin Martin may get it done but then that may be unfavorable to the Timberwolves. This trade won’t ever happen.

      • lunds007 - Jul 8, 2014 at 1:15 PM

        I just have the feeling Parsons in gone anyways because they are heavily recruiting Anthony, Bosh, etc that some team is going to offer Parsons a big contract that Houston won’t be able to swallow salary cap wise.

    • 76ersdoubletank - Jul 8, 2014 at 1:14 PM

      I don’t see why the Rockets would move Parsons.

    • bringin1234 - Jul 8, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      you realize Parsons is a FA correct? So they would be doing a sign and trade for Parsons instead of just signing him?

      • lunds007 - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:47 AM

        Bringing1234 – RFA….big difference!

  4. chiadam - Jul 8, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    If “all teams involved” means “all teams involved that aren’t Houston,” then yes.

    • lunds007 - Jul 8, 2014 at 1:20 PM

      I still think 3 way deal between the 3 teams I mentioned makes sense but the pieces may shift. Parsons is restricted free agent and some team is going to offer big money…can Houston really afford to match?

  5. wiltchamberlainthethird - Jul 8, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    I saw a comment bring this up yesterday in the Stephenson thread but a 3-way deal could get it done. Boston gets Love, Sota gets Lance (in a sign & trade), Sullinger, Young & one of those Brooklyn picks, Indy gets Kevin Martin, Bogans expiring deal & a 2nd rounder. Boston wants a star, Twolves want some up-&-coming players & Indy gets better shooting plus cap relief. Who says no?

    • 76ersdoubletank - Jul 8, 2014 at 1:19 PM

      Probably Lance Stephenson, why on earth would he want to play in Minnesota? Also, I don’t know if ‘Sota would want to take on a big deal w/Stephenson if they are trying to sign Rubio long term as well, and then figure out who to build around with another long term deal. Plus, Stephenson is not a No. 1 option, so why be stuck paying him like one for years?

      Kevin Martin has a bad contract, and even if it is only for one more year it would put the Pacers right up to the cap for a player who won’t make them any better than they were last season. In fact given his lackluster defense, they’d end up worse off.

      • paleihe - Jul 8, 2014 at 1:25 PM

        Why the hell would the sign Rubio long term? If I were Minny, unfortunately, go full scale rebuild. Pull a Philly and pile picks. Love isn’t getting them anywhere, especially in the western conference.

      • wiltchamberlainthethird - Jul 8, 2014 at 1:36 PM

        For all the hoopla Lance got last year (borderline All-Star, most triple-doubles, his playoff antics)…he made less than 900K. You can bet Lance is looking for one thing this summer: cash $$$! Sota made it clear they want an established player vs draft picks & the only way they’ll get em is to overpay. In a world where Channing Frye is ‘worth’ $8M a year, then you gotta prepare to cough up $10-11M a season for Stephenson.

        As far as Indy, they still got PG, Hibbert & West on the court so Martin’s deficiencies won’t be as exposed & he gives them what their offense was dying for: spacing. Not lazy PG triples or last second throw-ups, but some actual spot up shooting. They offered Lance $9M a year….$6M for Martin’s 19 PPG ain’t a bad alternative at all.

      • 76ersdoubletank - Jul 8, 2014 at 2:30 PM

        I’m no Rubio fan myself,so I agree with everything you’re saying Paleihe, but lots of reports going around that ‘Sota is looking to lock him up. Wilt- I can’t see paying Martin 6-7 million for three more years, his number goes up slightly over the next two seasons. Spacing is a valid point, Martin would provide that- but is that really what killed the Pacers? I have two words for you Roy Hibbert, lol. Plus they need a PG more than a two/three to facilitate that team. Hill is not the answer.

  6. simoneauchristopher5 - Jul 8, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    I’ve been quiet waiting for this to play out because it has the same feel as the KG deal. I’ll admit, I thought it was a done deal before the draft, but I was clearly wrong. I wasn’t wrong about Love wanting to be in Boston though. I’ve noticed that some people don’t see Sullinger as a legit trade chip, but they are dead wrong. Sullinger averaged 13 & 8 last year in 27 minutes a game. He also played 74 games, so he’s healthy again. Sullinger avg’d 17 & 11 p/36, which was 7th in the league for pf’s. If Minnesota gets Sullinger, Young, & 2 1st round picks, that is a hell of a haul for a guy they will watch walk next summer. Add that they remove Love from the west and that is another win.

    • dominwindhamnh - Jul 8, 2014 at 1:37 PM

      Smartest comment in the room.

      • simoneauchristopher5 - Jul 8, 2014 at 6:46 PM

        Thnx Dom, I appreciate that. Just another nugget- Celts signed Smart today, making him ineligible to be traded for 30 days, but Young wasn’t signed. I think something is brewing.

    • jcmeyer10 - Jul 8, 2014 at 2:27 PM

      Sullinger needs to come out with a Tom Emansky type video about rebounding. The guy has zero hops yet puts himself in the best position to rebound.

      • lphboston - Jul 8, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        Paul Silas

    • therealhtj - Jul 8, 2014 at 6:00 PM

      Love’s in no way said he “wants” to be in Boston or anywhere else. Anyone trading for him has to be prepared to deal with his leaving next summer.

      • casualcommenter - Jul 8, 2014 at 6:39 PM

        The only thing Love has said is that he wants to win.

        If the Celtics convince him they can build a winner around him, he’d stay.
        If not, he’d leave.

  7. antistratfordian - Jul 8, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    Love is waiting to see what Bronny is going to do.

  8. joeyashwi - Jul 8, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Minnesota can’t rebuild what has never been built. Draft picks mean nothing since all of their picks bolt before their prime anyway. Minnesota is NBA purgatory and will NEVER have even a decent team again. Thank goodness we have hockey.

  9. haaaaasoooooo - Jul 8, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    Are we still reporting non-stories? In tht case…REPORT: I still live in my mom’s basement, but I’m looking for a place!

  10. naterich21 - Jul 8, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    The Celtics officially signed Smart so he can’t be traded for the next 30 days under the new CBA. That drops the likelihood of a 2-team deal significantly.

    I don’t believe in the 3-team deal posted above, but hey whatever works. It’s still possible if Flip Saunders realizes that Love will indeed leave his team

  11. jazz11001 - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    Kevin Love isn’t even the 5th most talked about available player. His ego must be hurting really bad, let’s all pray he doesn’t take his life doing one armed jumping jacks! Twolves will end up getting an established pg and a solid 3. The real trade is going to be Rubio and Martin for those upgrades and love resigns

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