Man, what another boring day of NBA rumors. Oh wait … Kevin Love opted out of his contract and it was followed by a string of Woj bombs?
Sources: If Kevin Love goes forward with visits in July, expect Boston to sell him on pursuing group of Love, Robin Lopez and…Paul Pierce.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 24, 2015
Sources: Clips offering bench guys to gain trade exception to pay Pierce, but If Celts could get Love – Pierce is in play for Boston return. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 24, 2015
Opt-out sets up Love to sign extension w/ Cavs, but teams want crack at pitching him. Another suitor promising to be aggressive: Phoenix.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 24, 2015
Cleveland remains the frontrunner to sign Love to a five-year, $100M-plus extension, but Love could be willing to hear out Celtics, Lakers. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 24, 2015
Allow me to speak for everyone when I give you my initial reaction – WOW!
My second reaction? That’s a weird combo of young-ish and very old players, but hey, I’d take that offseason if I’m the Celtics in a heartbeat. I’m not trying to write about acquisition ideas for my hometown team everyday, but The C’s have just been so busy pumping out rumors that I haven’t been able to avoid it.
Of course, you have to read the language of the tweet. Kevin Love doesn’t necessarily want to come to Boston. He might not even listen to other teams and re-sign long-term in Cleveland. But if he decides to hear out the C’s, the idea of adding Love/The Truth/Sideshow Bob to a team that already showed they have balls in their playoff push isn’t a bad pitch.
Mike Dyer, from my old stomping grounds at CelticsLife, already even showed Danny Ainge how to make it work.
I co-sign on this. Simply add those players to what you’ve already built in Boston and you’re onto something. The new trio would start in the frontcourt alongside a backcourt of Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley.
If the Celtics stretch Wallace, they’ll have ~$30M in cap space. If Love gets $18-19 in year one, Lopez gets $10ish, Pierce gets Mid-Level— Michael Dyer (@Mike_Dyer13) June 24, 2015
This leaves guys like Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Evan Turner, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk and Tyler Zeller all coming off the bench. Ainge could even package a couple of those guys with their No. 16 or 28 pick in the draft and try to move up like he’s been working on already and still make this work since it’s all signings and no trades.
What if I’m the Suns or Lakers, though? Going back out west could be a tough sell, but they can come up with good pitches as well. Particularly LAL, obviously.
If I’m Mitch Kupchak, I’m perusing DeMarcus Cousins even harder than before now that I know Love could be willing to talk to me. Hell, give up the No. 2 pick, Julius Randle and a future pick if it takes that much.
Make it so that the Kings just can’t pass up the offer. Once you have Cousins (who you already want anyway) you have your pitch to Love. “Kevin, come to your hometown of L.A. and try to win a championship with Kobe and DeMarcus! And once Kobe’s out, you and Cousins are the faces of the Lakers!”
Would the Lakers actually win it all? Nope, they’d need even more than Love/DMC (already a fun nickname for the duo). But it’s a good enough pitch to make a Cali kid like Love to make him consider it.
The Suns may not seem quite as sexy. They’re not one of the two most winning franchises in history, nor do they have LeBron. They do have a good young core that’s just on the cusp of making the playoffs in a tough Western Conference, though. Love could undoubtedly step in and be the man here. But who am I kidding, I can’t see Phoenix happening either. Not saying Woj doesn’t know his stuff. I’m sure the Suns front office would be aggressive. But it’s just not the best option.
So that leaves me with nothing to do but make up a rumor of my own. That’s right Woj, I can do it too! Just without the 2,600 retweets!
Why not Atlanta??
It was the Hawks who finished with the best record in the east, but all season the knock on them was they didn’t have a star. Kevin Love is a star … right? They’re probably going to lose either Paul Millsap or DeMarre Carroll, but the overall core and depth will still be there. With the addition of the No. 15 pick in the draft and the starpower of Love, ATL would have the potential to win 60 games again. Maybe this time around with a player like Love in the playoffs, they’ll be taken more seriously/play more seriously. Coach Bud is a genius, and would find ways to have Love at his best in no time. Pitch Kevin on having his best individual season while leading a team to the best record in the east … eh, not bad.
Will he actually meet with the Hawks? No freaking way. But I think we’re all excited to see if he’ll sit down with the Lakers and Celtics before just agreeing to go right back to Cleveland.
Also, I deserve a pat on the back for writing this entire post without once saying PAUL PIERCE BACK IN BOSTON??!! You’re no fun if you don’t want to see that happen.
For comments find me on Twitter @julianedlow