The Boston Celtics reportedly have the best chance at acquiring Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love through a trade. The potential deal, which would pair Love with Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, would likely happen before the 2014 NBA draft, Bill Simmons of Grantland speculates.
Many foresee the 2014-15 season as being the last time Love dons a Timberwolves jersey. While Love is saying the right things, Minnesota may look to play it safe and trade him before next season in order to maximize the return they get for him.
Love is under contract next season and has a player option the following season. Any team looking to trade for love would need to be confident in their ability to re-sign him to a long-term contract and have enough assets to convince Minnesota to make the deal.
Boston, according to Simmons, is the ideal - and most likely - trade partner. Although the Grantland editor is an admitted Celtics fan, his reasoning behind the Boston-Minnesota trade idea is sound: Rondo as a teammate for Love and an armada of draft picks for Minnesota.
"Let's say the Celtics lose the 2014 lottery and end up with a pick between No. 3 and No. 5," Simmons wrote on Wednesday. "They could send that pick to Minny along with Atlanta's first-rounder (probably ending up in the 13-to-18 range) and their 2015 Clippers pick for Love. And they could throw in Brandon Bass and Keith Bogan's immediately waivable deal to make the contracts work.
"Oh, and if Minnesota were more interested in one or more of those future Brooklyn picks that Boston owns (unprotected in 2016 and 2018, pick swap in 2017), the Celtics could discuss that, too. ... That deal could potentially net the Timberwolves three top-15 picks in a monster draft."
Another likely scenario for Love is the Los Angeles Lakers, whom Simmons thinks Love will ultimately sign with as a free agent in 2015.