Losing seasons are never enjoyable for any NBA team, but they sting all the more in Boston, considering the Celtics' storied history.
With that in mind, the Celtics will certainly look to improve sooner rather than later this offseason, and having a lottery pick will certainly help along those lines. They will likely make a move or two before the 2014-15 campaign kicks off.
Let’s take a look at a couple of rumors involving Boston and two of the league’s superstar players.
Kevin Love to Boston?
Kevin Love reportedly plans on opting out of his contract in the summer of 2015, so the Minnesota Timberwolves may trade him before the 2014-15 season. Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski suggested that Boston might be his destination:
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.
Love is only 25 years old but has not reached the playoffs in six seasons in Minnesota.
What conference will Kevin Love be in next season?
If we are to look ahead to the Love sweepstakes, Boston certainly makes sense. The Celtics have a number of draft picks at their disposal in the next few years, and they even have the salary-cap space available to take on an unfavorable contract in any trade with the Timberwolves.
What’s more, Wojnarowski noted that Love’s agent Jeff Schwartz and Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge have worked together in the past, since Ainge helped Schwartz’s client Paul Pierce get to Brooklyn last year.
Throw all that on top of the fact that Boston can incorporate its storied history and the opportunity to play alongside Rajon Rondo in any sell it makes to the double-double machine, and the Celtics may just be the one to land Love this summer.
Rajon Rondo on the way out?
Of course, selling Love on the chance to play with Rondo requires the point guard to remain in Boston.
Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald discussed as much: “But what we’ve been hearing for a while and in more concerted tones here is that Rajon Rondo may be more available now than ever before.”
However, Ainge tried to put some of that talk to rest (via Bulpett):
That’s all speculation. Those aren’t facts. People don’t know that, so it’s just people speculating on Rondo’s free agency next summer. That’s all that you’re hearing. You’re not hearing any facts from anybody. Those conversations haven’t even been discussed, so that’s just speculation.
Granted, Ainge could very well be posturing in a way to avoid tipping his hand. If he was to trade Rondo, it would be in his best interest to appear as if he wants to keep the point guard just so he can drive up the asking price. After all, where there’s smoke, there is often fire, so Rondo may be on the way out sooner rather than later.
He is still only 28 years old, though, and has plenty of good basketball ahead of him. It’s easy to forget just how talented Rondo is because he missed most of the season with injury and Boston struggled this year, but ESPN Stats & Info helped remind some fans:
Russell Westbrook joins Rajon Rondo as the only players in NBA history with 2 Game 7 triple-doubles. (@EliasSports)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 4, 2014
Landing someone like Love would certainly go a long way toward enticing Rondo to stay put when free agency becomes an option. That combination would likely be more than enough to get Boston into the playoffs in a watered-down Eastern Conference.
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