Pumping the brakes on Kevin Love
Last week the esteemed Jackie MacMullen of ESPN Boston wrote a piece saying "Kevin Love-to-Boston is no sure thing." Some of her arguments we've been considering all along, but others add new light to the issue.
First off, there's the ongoing idea that Minnesota may be reluctant to deal their superstar power forward/face of the franchise named Kevin to Boston, again.
MacMullen says the following about T-Wolves owner Glen Taylor and GM/head coach Flip Saunders:
Taylor still hasn't recovered from the last seismic Minnesota-Boston transaction, which led to a Celtics championship. In fact, sources in Minnesota say, the thought of conducting another major transaction with Boston gives Taylor great pause.
When Doc Rivers hired Saunders as a "postseason consultant" for the Celtics during the 2012 playoffs, the interaction between Flip and [Danny] Ainge was minimal and noticeably cool. That doesn't preclude the two from making a trade, but negotiations won't be nearly as fluid or cooperative as they were when [Kevin] McHale and Ainge were striking a deal.
Second, there's the notion that Boston may not be able to put together the best trade package for Love. MacMullen writes:
According to team and league sources, that isn't happening any time soon because the Timberwolves are less than enamored with what Boston can offer them.
The Timberwolves privately maintain they already have fielded better offers from other teams, among them the Chicago Bulls, who can offer draft picks and some combination of Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson along with Carlos Boozer, whose bloated $16.8 million contract expires next summer and represents the kind of cap space rebuilding teams crave.
While I could see Sacramento as an appealing option for Minnesota (the 8th pick and a bunch of young guys), they're deluding themselves if they really think Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson will make their fans happy.
Finally, MacMullen raises one more question. What if Rajon Rondo doesn't want to stay in Boston? Both he and Love will be free agents after next season:
Remember, there's still no guarantee Rondo is sticking around for any of this. He does not want to languish with a young rebuilding team in the prime of his career. Can't say I blame him. He wants to play in a big market, which limits trade destinations for Boston, and he wants a max deal. He has not given the Celtics any guarantees he's in for the long haul.
It's a mildly depressing thought, but definitely accurate. We're very quick to assume if Love comes to town Rondo will automatically re-sign with the Celtics, and it might not happen.
Follow Mark Vandeusen on twitter @LucidSportsFan