According to league sources, the Timberwolves remain ambivalent about trading Love, who is heading into the final year of his contract and has indicated to the team that he won’t sign an extension before free agency hits next summer.
Publicly, the Timberwolves are saying they expect Love to be in training camp with the team next fall. But behind the scenes, as one source put it, the Timberwolves are, “paving the way to make something happen sooner rather than later.” Sooner, of course, would be draft night.
The Wolves can remain ambivalent all they want, but doing a deal after this year’s deep draft doesn’t make any sense. Then again, we are talking about the Wolves.
What about the Celtics offer?
As for the Celtics, making a deal for Love is a priority, even if it costs this year’s top pick, which is No. 6 in the draft. From the Timberwolves’ point of view, the Celtics have plenty of draft picks available—their top pick, plus No. 17 in this draft, as well as picks belonging to themselves and the Clippers in 2015, plus their own and the Nets’ in 2016 and 2018. (Boston has Philadelphia’s pick next year, but only if the Sixers somehow make the playoffs.)
But what Boston is lacking is a young player with high-ceiling potential. The Celtics have no intention of including Rajon Rondo in a Love deal, because playing with Rondo would be one of the main lures in getting Love to sign an extension—and, of course, the Timberwolves already have Ricky Rubio.
Beyond Rondo, the Celtics’ roster mostly consists of decent rotation players like Jared Sullinger, Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk. That’s not quite what the Timberwolves have in mind as a return for Love—the question then becomes how much Minnesota values Boston’s picks, and which ones the Celtics would be willing to send.
Define high-ceiling? Are we talking about a top 20 player? I understand that a lot of teams aren’t high on Jared Sullinger. But you’re crazy if you don’t think he will average 18 ppg and 10 rpg.
If the Wolves don’t want Sully, I’d gladly keep him as 6th man behind Love for the immediate future.
If Minnesota wants picks only, I’d pony up the 6th, 17th, and a Brooklyn 1st rounder in 2016 or 2018. You’d have to throw in filler like Bass, Bogans and Vitor to make the salaries match. Or maybe a 3rd team gets involved.
Whatever it takes, Danny. Whatever it takes.