Windhorst guarantees Tristan Thompson will return to the Cavs; Opens door for Love to leave
Love would be the best fit for Stevens' system
ESPN's Brian Windhorst who has essentially covered Cavs head coach and general manager LeBron James since he was a toddler was on ESPN and guaranteed that Tristan Thompson will re-sign with the Cavs. Thompson is a client of LeBron James's agency and there is no way that GM LeBron won't give agent LeBron what he wants for his client Thompson. Windhorst was much less sure about Kevin Love's return. He says the Cavs will offer Love a max deal and if he takes it he takes, but if not, so be it. They showed they could win without him (before Kyrie got hurt) and if they are giving Thompson a big payday, they might not even care that much if Love leaves.
Personally I think the Cavs would be foolish to just let Love leave for nothing. If they don't want to keep him, they'd be wiser to sign-and-trade him away. Then again their GM LeBron was foolish to trade rookie of the year Andrew Wiggins on a cost controlled rookie contract for Love in the 1st place. I was hoping that trade went down, because I feared the stranglehold that the Cavs would have over the league for many years if they had a LeBron/Kyrie/Wiggins core.
Onto the Celtics and how this affects them. If Love walks the Celtics are a viable landing spot. It's been rumored that it would come down to the Lakers and Celtics for Love's services, but I don't think it will be that simple. I expect Phil Jackson to make a run at Love for the Knicks (Whistlin' Phil was in L.A. when Love was going to UCLA). I could also see a team like the Spurs going after Love. I think he'd love Pop as his coach and would fit in great with their roster. Dallas, Houston, and even the Heat would also make their pitches.
If we can't sign Love, Monroe would be the best consolation prize available.
The only two all-star caliber players we have a viable shot at are Love and Greg Monroe. We can't even be picky on this. If we get either, Celtics fans should be thrilled (I'd prefer Love). If we miss out on both, expect us to remain in mediocrity for the next few years. You need stars to win. The easiest way to get them is to pick at the top of the draft (and that's not even a sure thing). Due to our unexpected playoff berth, we aren't getting that shot. Sure a team can draft a star outside the top of the draft (The Celtics drafted Pierce number 10 back during Pitino's reign), but waiting on Ainge to pull a rabbit out of his hat on draft night is far less likely than the sure thing Love is. The only all-star Ainge has ever drafted was Rajon Rondo and that was 9 years ago. Here's hoping we can sign Love and actually get back to competing for championships (and not just playoff berths).