Nanoseconds after NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum pulled the leprechaun out of the white envelope last week to reveal that the Celtics would be picking sixth overall in the 2014 draft, the Twitter call for Kevin Love-to-Boston sounded.
Boston won’t be selecting in the top three, which is where most pundits believe the sure-fire All-Stars lie. Though the odds say that whomever is selected sixth overall in this “deep draft” will be, at the very least, a starter on an NBA team for years to come – the road for a Celtics championship build would seem to be easier right now if Love were involved.
Make no mistake, the C’s are the favorite to make a trade for Love this summer. They have the most assets – particularly nine first round picks in the next five years – to swing a deal. They can also dangle young players with great upside like Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk in any deal.
The Lakers have emerged as a possible destination for Love, but all indications are that if that is to happen it will happen next summer when the T’Wolves forward would be a free agent. Los Angeles simply doesn’t have enough assets to land Love this summer and although the California-bred Love would jump at the chance to play in L.A., he does not have full control of the situation as it stands now.
In fact, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told 98.5 The Sports Hub last week that he would take a risk on trading for a superstar player in the last year of a contract even without the guarantee that he would re-sign. Love does not have a no-trade clause in his current contract.
Follow Metro Boston sports editor Matt Burke on Twitter: @BurkeMetroBOS