The Boston Celtics have popped up on the Kevin Love "Loveboat" watch and CSN New England reports that a source in Love's camp says he's open to going green:
One of the early hurdles the Boston Celtics had to overcome in acquiring Kevin Garnett in 2007, was convincing him to want to come to Boston.
That, according to Comcast SportsNet basketball analyst Tim Welsh, doesn't appear to be an issue when it comes to a potential trade for Minnesota's Kevin Love who reportedly does not plan to sign an extension with the Timberwolves.
A source close to Love told Welsh that the three-time All-star, "wants to play for an organization that's going to be a winning organization; not necessarily I have to go to a championship team now, but a team that's going to be built to move in that direction. Maybe it'll take a couple years. That's OK. But he needs a change from Minnesota."
Although the Celtics are coming off a 25-57 season, Boston has several draft picks in the coming years in addition to young talent such as Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk along with four-time All-Star Rajon Rondo.
And while it has been reported that Love wants to return out West, Welsh's source said that Love is open to what he believes is the best situation in terms of winning.
"He (Love) is not one of those guys that's saying, "I want to go to Miami. I want to go to L.A.," the hype cities," Welsh said. "Now would he prefer L.A.? His girlfriend lives there. She's an actress. He went to college there (at UCLA). He was born there."
Welsh added, "but he's a professional. He wants to go where there's the best opportunity for him which would be in a winning organization and he respects the history of the Celtics."
I'm sorry, but we gotta pump the brakes a bit. For starters, this isn't about "the Celtics," it's about a situation that resembles what Boston's considered to be.
"I want to win, so I want to be traded to the Boston Celtics?" Sorry, is this 2009?
I get that the Celtics seem like a winning organization. The history, the legacy, the 2008 championship. But let's really dig in here. They were dominant from the 60's through the 80's under Red Auerbach. No question there. One of the greatest organizations in sports. Then, really, they sucked for about 15 years outside of the hilariously fun Paul Pierce-Antoine Walker era (and I loved that team).
Then, they were awful again.
Then, a former Boston Celtic in charge of basketball operations in Minnesota with a figurative gun to his head traded them one of the greatest players of all time in a sweetheart deal after Boston had also snagged Ray Allen in a salary dump from rebuilding Seattle. Props to Danny Ainge for pulling it off. Kudos for drafting Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger.
But let's not get carried away here.
The 2008 Celtics were dominant, the 2009 Celtics were a great team soiled by injury to KG, the 2010 team was, I'm sorry, a fluke. They got hot at the righ time and veteran experience, and all that. But you can't look at the situation with any objective sense of the entire season and all rosters and state they were better than Orlando or Cleveland. They beat them, they played better, they deserved to go to the Finals (which by the way, was one of the ugliest Finals of all time despite the history involved). But they were already in decline. A 2011 handling by Miami, and a 2012 momentary run ended by LeBron in emphatic fashion, and there you have it. The Celtics' recent history.
Now, looking at this roster, they've got Rajon Rondo, who is still a remndous building block. They have Sullinger, who I suppose theoretically you could play next to Love if you don't include him in the deal, in some sort of smallball concept. They have restricted free agency rights to Avery Bradley, who shot well from the perimeter, but can't stay healthy. They have Jeff Green, who.. you know what, long story, let's not go there.
That sound like a winning atmosphere? But then, maybe Ainge can pull off a combination of deals to land another star like he did with Ray Allen and KG. Maybe Rondo is Truth, Love is KG and he just needs to find a Ray Allen.
But if Love's looking at his best options to win, he's smart to not just look at now, but long-term. But that doesn't mean he should look to go to Boston. Their present is bleak. Their future may not be bleak, but it's not exactly shining bright, either. Love has better options. And so do the Wolves.