For the second straight day, a new report has surfaced indicating that the Boston Celtics are in prime position to land Timberwolves forward Kevin Love. Bill Simmons of Grantland.com and ESPN’s NBA Countdown tweeted out this morning his latest scoop on the Love sweepstakes.
If TWolves trade Love, Celts are heavy favs to get him now. GS won't discuss Klay T. + Bulls are focused on Melo. Boston trumps anyone else.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) June 18, 2014
Analysis: Golden State and Chicago, along with Boston are widely considered to be the other top contenders for acquiring Love, but that’s only if they pony up the young assets to appease the Wolves. While neither team can match Boston’s offer of a lottery pick and potentially additional first round picks in a trade proposal, both squads have the young players (Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic) that would catch Minnesota’s eye.
Golden State already traded away their 2014 and 2016 first round picks last summer, so they are very limited in terms of what they can offer Minnesota on the draft pick front. If the Warriors’ front office is unwilling to discuss Thompson in any deal for Love, the team doesn’t have enough young assets on other parts of the roster to meet Minnesota’s asking price in all likelihood.
With a fresh start for the team looming under new head coach Steve Kerr, it also makes sense that the Warriors would be reluctant to blow up young core of Thompson, Barnes, and Draymond Green to land the All-Star. That group may make the Warriors a better team in coming years than Love could by himself
Chicago’s focus on Carmelo Anthony, if he becomes a free agent, is understandable as well. If the Bulls can add a star like Anthony to their team without having to sacrifice any young assets like Butler and Gibson, that’s a far more appealing option than dealing those guys to bring Love to town.
Chicago should have ample cap space to sign Anthony outright in free agency if they amnesty or trade Carlos Boozer. With a June 23rd deadline looming for Anthony’s decision to opt out from his Knicks contract, this possibility could be confirmed by Monday.
Boston’s chances of landing Love are not guaranteed with these other suitors potentially falling out of the running. The Celtics don’t just need to outbid other teams for Love, they need to make a strong enough offer to convince the Timberwolves to part with their All-Star now.
Yesterday, Chad Ford reported that a source indicated to him that the Wolves believe the best offer for Love will come from the Celtics. As we hear more reports of teams falling out of the running for Love, that scenario becomes more and more likely.