Take everything you hear right now on Kevin Love with a grain of salt. With the NBA draft eight days away, much of what the media is reporting has been leaked to them by people with an agenda. Possibly the Timberwolves, who would like nothing more than to drive the price up, or possibly a source from another team trying to do the same.
With that said, Steve Bulpett is as plugged in as anyone on the Celtics beat, and he's saying that the Celtics offer of players/picks isn't even close to getting the job done.
Sources close to the situation have told the Herald that Boston's offer of draft picks and players isn’t nearly the best the Timberwolves have received -- or expect to receive -- for their All-Star forward.
The Celtics are willing to discuss a number of options, but none of them includes the quality of player with NBA experience that Minnesota is seeking or believes it can get elsewhere.
One source indicated Denver and Golden State have both made more intriguing offers, and there are other teams very much in the picture, as well. There have been conflicting reports on whether the Warriors would make Klay Thompson available, but the Wolves are said to be confident they can find a more than acceptable deal there.
At present, however, what the Celtics have to offer isn’t getting it done. According to a source, the first round picks they own from the Nets are not seen as being of overwhelming value, and, where the Celts had an Al Jefferson to offer Minnesota for Kevin Garnett six years ago, neither Jared Sullinger nor Kelly Olynyk rises to that level in the Wolves' eyes this time around.
Bulpett went on to say that the Wolves believe they can get a similar player with their pick (13th) than they could with the 6th pick, lessening the value of that pick in their eyes. He also says that the Cs best chance to get Love may be in a three-way deal, where a team looking for picks takes the Celts offer, and gives up better NBA talent to Minnesota.
My thoughts: this just feels like some kind of ploy to raise the price of Love. I'm not saying the Celtics have the best offer, but how are they so far out of the picture with the type of assets they have? And doesn't Minnesota realize that having the 6th and 13th picks (plus 17th likely) is better than having just the 13th? It's also hard to imagine Golden State putting a better offer out there, especially if they won't deal Thompson. Is Harrison Barnes/David Lee really the type of package a rebuilding team wants? For reasonable people, the answer is no. But perhaps Flip Saunders is not reasonable. Or perhaps this info is coming from someone looking to get the Celtics to raise their offer.
And just to make things a little more confusing, Bill Simmons says the Celtics are the heavy favorites.
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
So two guys with well connected sources, one says the Celtics aren't even close, the other says they're the heavy favorites. This should be fun to watch shake out.
Edit: From Chad Ford's chat today, Ford remains on the "Celtics are the leaders in the clubhouse" side of the tracks:
I was told by a good source in Minnesota that as of Monday, the Celtics had the best offer on the table and were the favorites to land Love. I think Bill Simmons reported something similar today. I know the Boston Herald just said the opposite -- that the Warriors and Nuggets had made better offers. But I'm skeptical. The Warriors won't include Klay Thompson (at least not yet). And the Nuggets? They have the 11th pick. They have Kenneth Faried. But what else? Gallinari? Hickson? I don't think that's a better offer than the Celtics.
Chad Ford says that Celtics offer for Kevin Love is Minnesota's best bet
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