The Boston Celtics have emerged as an increasingly intriguing destination for Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love, and the Celtics' draft position coming out of Tuesday night's lottery could be telltale in determining the feasibility of a trade, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Wojnarowski describes Boston as a "sleeper gathering momentum" and notes that, "Love's agent Jeff Schwartz and [Boston president of basketball operations Danny] Ainge have a strong relationship and a good working history."
While Wojnarowski adds that the Houston Rockets will make a run at Love, there's certainly intrigue surrounding the notion of the 25-year-old coming to a storied franchise like the Cs. Love would kick the organization rebuild into fast-forward mode, immediately establishing the team as a force to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference.
Where's the best fit for Kevin Love?
According to ESPN.com's Marc Stein and Ramon Shelburne, "Love has made it clear to the Timberwolves that he intends to become an unrestricted free agent after next season and has no interest in a contract extension this summer to stay in Minnesota, according to sources with knowledge of the situation."
Back in March, ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin wrote that, "A source familiar with Love’s thinking told ESPNLosAngeles.com that it’s not just L.A. that is appealing to Love; he’s enamored with the idea of being 'big time in a big city,' and that list of potential places he’d seek includes New York and Chicago, as well."
So if you're keeping track, that means Minnesota's big man has been linked to Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Golden State, Houston and Boston. Per Stein and Shelburne, even the Phoenix Suns are expected to make a push for Love's services.
With virtually half the league reportedly either interested in Love or drawing Love's interest, it's awfully hard to say who's in the lead at this early stage. The first question is who actually has the resources to make a deal happen. Timberwolves president Flip Saunders may find himself in position to benefit from quite the bidding war.
That means Love won't come cheap.
Another hurdle will be securing Love's long-term interest. Teams are unlikely to pull the trigger on a deal without Love first agreeing to sign an extension. No one wants to trade the farm for a rental, duplicating the Lakers' experiment with center Dwight Howard.
Assuming the Celtics manage to retain point guard Rajon Rondo in their bid for Love, the team would immediately find itself with a dangerous combination of ball distribution and shooting. Boston would also have a much easier time grabbing free agents with the ability to sell them on an opportunity to resurrect the franchise alongside two stars in their primes.