Celtics fans spent the majority of Memorial Day weekend discussing ways in which Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love could wind up in Boston. Throughout Fourth of July weekend that discussion again cropped up, as Yahoo! Sports NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted Saturday that the Celtics are still exploring ways in which to land the three-time All-Star.
Worjnarowski’s tweet read: “Here’s something that remains unchanged: Danny Ainge’s relentless pursuit of creative ways to engage Minnesota on a Kevin Love deal.”
Trade rumors regarding Love had died down in recent weeks as Minnesota executive and head coach Flip Saunders appeared ready to gamble on keeping Love for the 2014-15 season despite the real chance that Love could walk as a free agent next summer with the Wolves receiving next to nothing in return.
Also, the Celtics’ key chip in any major trade would have been the No. 6 overall pick in the draft 11 days ago. The C’s used the pick to select Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart.
Any deal for Love going forward would certainly have to include the future first round draft picks the Celtics have coming to them from the Brooklyn Nets as well as the likes of Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk. The Boston Globe’s Baxter Holmes reported this past weekend that the Celtics would also be willing to “use their picks to acquire players from other teams that they could then ship to Minnesota in a deal” for Love.
One creative route the Celtics could explore in order to appease Minnesota would be to trade Rajon Rondo to a third party in exchange for players and other picks the Timberwolves covet. Minnesota has stated that it wants quality players and not just picks in any Love deal. While that would leave the Celtics with Love on a one-year lease, Ainge has said in the past that he is not opposed to rolling the dice on a player of Love's caliber that has not signed an extension. Boston would likely immediately be players on the market for second and third tier free agents this summer if a Love deal was completed and would obviously use the entire 2014-15 season as an opportunity to prove to Love that building a championship contender in Boston is a true possibility.
Follow Metro Boston sports editor Matt Burke on Twitter: @BurkeMetroBOS