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One thing that is evident so far in this Celtics/Cavs series is that as good a coach as Brad Stevens is, the Celtics just don't have the top shelf talent to compete with the big boys. There will be several big name free agents this Summer, but most will inevitably re-sign with their current teams for top dollar. While Danny Ainge will be sure to make a run at young free agents like DeAndre Jordan, Jimmy Butler, and Draymond Green (3 guys Danny passed on in the draft for J.R. Giddens, JaJuan Johnson, and Fab Melo respectively), the player I believe Danny will go hardest for once July 1st, 12 AM hits is Kevin Love. According to Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe, Love would like to be a Celtic.

Boston is really the place he wants to be. We all know it. I bet he knows it, which just might be why, according to one insider, he spent a couple of off days here when the Cavaliers’ schedule allowed for some R&R at the end of the regular season.

I'm not that familiar with DuPont and his track record, but if this is true, this is a pretty major story. Out of all the places Love would visit during rare NBA downtime he chose Boston, even though he'd be coming here in less than a week for Games 3 and 4 anyway. I'm not even sure it's possible that Cavs players received a couple off days at season's end, but again I'll just assume Dupont fact checked his source.

Love visiting Boston/Cambridge last Summer
While many Celtics fans have gone from wanting Kevin Love desperately last year to losing interest in him this year as he struggled to be the 3rd banana next to LeBron and Kyrie, I believe his struggles are the key to the Celtics making a run at him. If he was fitting in perfectly, he wouldn't have any desire to leave Cleveland (They can also offer the most money). But just like Chris Bosh before him, Love has had to sacrifice due to playing with two ball dominant superstars. Bosh bounced back this year and was looking like the player from his Toronto days. I have no doubt that if Love came to Boston, his numbers would return to his Minnesota production as he'd be featured much more.

Winning combo pic by EK.
Also, if Brad Stevens can bring out the most in this year's roster of role players, imagine what he could do with a talent like Love? Stevens has yet to coach a player in the NBA better than his best at Butler (Gordan Hayward). Stevens deserves a star. Love is the best chance we have to get one. So root for Love to play poorly the rest of the playoffs in Cleveland. Root for him to simply be used as a stretch big man. Root for the Cavs to get knocked out of the playoffs in rounds 2 or 3. We need the Cavs to fail and for Love to get a fair share of the blame. That's step 1. Then we need Ainge and Stevens to do a better pitch job than the Cavs, Love's hometown Lakers and Phil Jackson's Knicks.

The pitch Danny and Brad could give is "Hey you've always wanted to play in the playoffs, we made the playoffs even before adding you. We will obviously make it every year with you. In Boston, you will get the best of both worlds. You'll be featured like you were in Minnesota, but you will also get to play playoff basketball like in Cleveland. This will be your team. You'll be like Cowens was in Boston in the 70's. Your game will never be optimized next to LeBron and Kyrie and the Lakers are a mess and still belong to an old Kobe. Team up with Brad Stevens and the young supporting cast waiting for you here in Boston."

Related: Top NBA free agents could have easily been drafted by the Celtics
Rumor: Are the Celtics planning to pursue Kevin Love again this summer?

JR 4/24/2015 11:49:00 AM Edit
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