Setting things straight: Four common misconceptions about trading for Kevin Love

Throughout the ongoing 'Kevin Love to Boston' ordeal, I've seen some of the same questions/talking points brought up, and I wanted to address a few of them. Just four misconceptions, and my thoughts behind why they're incorrect (some based on fact, some on opinion).

1. That the trade exception can be used to trade for Love

- When the Celtics traded with the Nets last summer, they received a $10.3 million trade exception to balance out the difference in salaries between Keith Bogans ($5 million) and Paul Pierce ($15.3M). While a valuable tool, there are a whole bunch of rules regarding the exception. One such rule is that the exception cannot be combined with other players to make a deal. Therefore, you can't combine the exception ($10.3M), Bogans ($5.4) and Jared Sullinger ($1.4M) to get Love (a deal which would save the Wolves a ton of money).

Also, the exception cannot be used to trade for anyone making more than $10.3 million. Even Larry Sanders (who makes $11M) is too pricey to be dealt straight up for it. So Love and his $15.7 million salary is far too expensive.

However, if the goal is simply to get Love at all costs, and not try and dump the necessary salary to get Melo, the exception could be used in a separate/non-simulataneous deal. For example, the Celtics could offer the package I recommended yesterday (Bass/Bogans/Sullinger/Johnson/Babb/2014 Celtics 1st/2015Celtics 1st/2016 Nets first), and then in a separate deal they could take either Kevin Martin, Chase Budinger or Jose Juan Barea off Minnesota's hands in exchange for a portion of the exception. If Minny is going into total teardown mode, this would allow them to shed another $5-7 million of payroll for next season without taking anything on. So the exception could be valuable in bringing in Love..but only if the Cs are not planning on trying to add a third star this summer.

2. That Boston can't trade their own first round picks in consecutive seasons

- Part of the fake mega-offer I put together for Love was the inclusion of the Celtics 2014/2015 first round picks. Some folks said that was not possible because of the "Stepien rule", a rule that prevents a team from trading first round picks in consecutive seasons. Only, the rule is not quite that simple. It actually states that a team must draft in the first round once every two years, meaning the Celtics can't trade away their own picks in both 2014 and 2015, unless they have another pick in one of those seasons. Even after all the deals I made yesterday (Love, salary dump to Philly, Sanders) the Celtics still had their own 2014 pick, their own 2016 pick and two picks in 2018 (while trading everything else). This means that they would never go consecutive seasons without a first, therefore obeying the Stepien rule.

3. That Minnesota would want Jeff Green

- One thing that seems to be appearing over and over again is the thought that Jeff Green is some kind of trade chip. There have been several people that have said that we should include him in the deal for Love instead of Bass (or even Bogans expiring deal), because apparently he's still some kind of chip to be dangled in a deal.

Newsflash: no rebuilding team wants Green at 2 years, $18 million. If Minnesota is trying to (again) enter a total rebuild, why the hell do they want to add a disappointing 28-year-old who is overpaid to the mix? That's the exact opposite of what they would want. And in Minnesota he'd again be thrust into the alpha dog mode with Love out of town, a role we've seen him fail in. If anyone is trading for Green, it's a contender that can use him as the 6th man or 4th/5th option in a starting role. Somebody like the Thunder could have definitely used him this year, but Minnesota, entering a rebuild? No chance in hell. They'd much rather have the expiring deal of Bass ($7M) than $18M worth of Green, especially when Bass can likely be moved this year as a valuable expiring contract/role player.

4. That Sully and Love is a viable frontline 

- And finally we have the thought that Love and Sullinger can co-exist as a starting frontline (this mainly from folks who really don't want to give up Sully in the deal). Obviously all opinions are valid, but I could not possibly disagree more with this.

Good teams protect the basket. Great teams protect it with a very good shot blocker/interior defender. Both Love and Sully are 6'8". Neither is very athletic, and neither can handle the role of defensive backbone. We saw Sullinger try (and try he did, effort was not the problem) last season, and we saw the Celtics interior defense disintegrate into one of the worst units in the league by the end of the year. This was hardly Sullinger's fault, it's just not something within his skill-set. He's a solid one-on-one defender, but he's completely incapable of wiping out his teammates' mistakes. Love is an even worse defender, and most definitely not the last line of defense on any halfway decent team. If Love is coming to town (or, if Sullinger is staying), the Celtics must find a rim protector. Playing these two guys together would make for an elite rebounding team, and I'm sure they would play off each other well on the offensive side, but the number of defensive breakdowns would be staggering, and that's the type of thing that sinks you in the playoffs. It's one guy or another.

Ok, that's it for now. Just wanted to clarify a few things. On a side note, this Love rumor is the best thing ever (well besides an actual trade happening). Actual things to discuss, write about and brainstorm. Thank god 2013-14 is over.


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