Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
According to team and league sources, that isn’t happening any time soon because the Timberwolves are less than enamored with what Boston can offer them.
The conversation would have adopted a completely different tone had the Celtics landed the first, second or third pick in the draft. The Timberwolves, like everyone else, covet the opportunity to have a crack at one of the troika of Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker.
The No. 6 pick isn’t quite so sexy. The Celtics can offer only some combination of that pick and the following: the valuable future Brooklyn picks, the 17th pick this year, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, Keith Bogans‘ expiring $5.05 million contract (if they can do it before July 1).
In other words, pretty much anything Minnesota wants.
The Timberwolves privately maintain they already have fielded better offers from other teams, among them the Chicago Bulls, who can offer draft picks and some combination of Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson along with Carlos Boozer, whose bloated $16.8 million contract expires next summer and represents the kind of cap space rebuilding teams crave.
After days of listening to the talking heads in the Boston media speculate on absurd rumor and offer little substance, it’s refreshing to have Jackie MacMullan – Boston’s best basketball insider – drop some real insight on the Kevin Love situation.
Jackie says the Wolves aren’t enamored with Boston’s assets. Seriously? You’re telling me that if Danny Ainge offered Sullinger, Bass, Bogans salary dump, #6, #17 and two additional 1st rounders over the next 3 years, that Minnesota would refuse?
The Herald’s Mark Murphy reports today that Danny Ainge has yet to make a formal offerfor Love and is scheming to move up in the draft.
Let’s examine that Bulls package of players and picks.
Jimmy Butler is a rising defensive star. He was named 2nd team All Defense this year. Boston can counter with the #6 pick. If Minny wants a defensive stud they can draft Aaron Gordon. I’ll be any prospect available at #6 projects higher than Butler.
Taj Gibson averaged 13 points and 7 rebounds (16.07 PER) this season. He’s a solid two way player. But at 28, you have to believe he’s at his peak. Jared Sullinger averaged 13 points, 8 rebounds (16.42 PER) this season. He’s 22 and only getting better. Conditioning questions aside, I insist Sullinger has a higher ceiling. And let’s not forget that Gibson is owed $24 million over the next 3 years.
Boozer’s $16 million comes off the books next season. But Keith Bogan’s $5 million is an immediate dump. Brandon Bass has one more year at $6.9 million. The Celtics can make up the difference with additional expiring contracts; Joel Anthony and Vitor Faverani. This is a wash.
Chicago has the 16th and 19th selections this year. The Celtics additional 1st rounder is 17th. The Celtics have 2 1st rounders in 2015, Chicago has 1 (but could swap with CLE if Cavs not in lottery). Chicago has 1 1st rounder in 2016, the Celtics have 2 1st rounders. Celtics have the advantage in volume.
What am I missing? I don’t see how Chicago can trump Boston. I believe all of these reports about Minnesota not loving Boston’s assets is posturing as they try to squeeze more out of Danny Ainge.
The rest of the links:
CSNNE – Akeem Williams happy to get workout with Cs | Who says Adrien Payne is too old? | Swiss big man Capela could interest Cs | ESPN Boston – Age old issue for Payne | For Akeem, Cs workout a dream | SI.com – Cs locked in on Gordon |