Who knew trying to trade one of the best PF's in the game would be so difficult.
It is pretty evident that Kevin Love's time in Minnesota is slowly fading to an end. It has been rumored for multiple months that Love wants to get out of Minnesota without making any public enemies. Lets be honest, this is almost the same m.o. as Kevin Garnett back in 2006. I don't know why every star player that comes through Minnesota wants to leave for greener pastures. Wait a minute, I do know. The whole Timberwolves organization sucks and no one ever wants to play for them.
Even though Minnesota has had some decent teams in the past, their direction as an organization has been suspect to say the least. No key free agent signings, the ongoing saga of drafting PG's and everlasting coaching problems they have had. Granted, Flip Saunders is back to coaching the Wolves, who was the last coach to bring them into the playoffs as well.
Now the dealing of Kevin Love has begun and should end by him going to Cleveland. One of the latest reports to surface was that the Cavs were willing to part ways with Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and another future 1st round pick. That is a pretty absurd package if it means Cleveland gets to have Love alongside LeBron and Irving. Talk about a newer, younger Big 3 that could actually be in title contention every year.
Now this is the tough part to understand. If you are the Timberwolves, why are you waiting so long to make this move? If WIggins signs a contract with the Cavs, that inevitably delays a deal that could be done by 30 days. You cannot trade a rookie for 30 days after signing their rookie contract. We have also heard that the Bulls, Warriors and Celtics have all been actively involved in trade talks. The Bulls have been offering Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson. The Warriors have been very adamant about not trading Klay Thompson, who the Timberwovles covet very highly. The Celtics....well they have 10 first round picks to offer in any trade involving Love.
Out of all these options, it is clear to me that the Cavaliers have the best package available. I do like Klay Thompson, but a trade for Love and Thompson seems very one sided in the Warriors favor, so I understand why the Timberwolves won't pull the trigger yet to Golden State. But when you have a chance to acquire the last two number one overall picks and another first round pick for a player that is clearly not going to be playing for your team next season. You need to take advantage. The fact that they are waiting this long is very perplexing because I highly doubt that teams are willing to keep giving more to try and get Love away form other teams. If the Wolves are still looking for more assists, they better reassess their situation because a lot of teams could realize that they can all hold out until the end of this year and have him become a free agent for everyone to go after.
The one thing I don't understand though is how LeBron has been 'in contact' with Kevin Love about joining forces WHILE he is under contract. What happened to tampering? Is LeBron not under that NBA rule or what? Rajon Rondo took a photo with Love at Fenway Park and everyone was up in arms about Rondo trying to recruit Love. Rondo reiterated that he only said hello and that the conversation lasted roughly 30 seconds. So the recruiting of super teams is still in effect and thats still the main reason why I hate the NBA. No MLB players are saying they want to join teams and the NFL and NHL have such strict salary cap implications that it is almost impossible to do.
All in all, the Timberwolves need to snap out of it and trade Love as soon as possible. They need young players, they need draft picks and they need help fast. The Timberwolves don't need any more guards. I don't want the Cavs to acquire Love because of its potential power as a perennial dynasty changing move. In all this, the Celtics have a slim margin to still acquire him, but if the Wolves haven't traded him yet for Andrew Wiggins, I really don't know what to expect from the Timberwolves. And neither should you.
By: Andrew Oak
All punch lines aside, the newest Celtics acquired during the 2014 NBA Draft have some significant impact on the future of this Boston Celtics franchise.
Marcus Smart and James Young are coming into a great situation (relatively speaking) in which they won't have a tremendous amount of pressure on them during their rookie campaigns. There are still plenty of moves to make this offseason to reshape the Celitcs roster, but right now, they seem to be moving in the right direction.
Smart is one of the more physical guards I have seen in the past few years. Now we all know what he did at Texas Tech last season, but that snafu aside, he has been one of the more competitive players I have seen in recent memory. You can youtube highlights of Marcus Smart all night long, but one thing that stands out about him, is his competitive nature and hustlers mentality as well as his commitment to playing on both sides of the ball. The Celtics have a strong defensive mindset in the backcourt for this upcoming season. Rondo, Avery Bradley and Smart will be one of the best defensive backcourts in the league this season. The real question is, can these guards consistently score points for us all season.
Marcus Smart has played against Andrew Wiggins three times last season and he definitely lived up to the task to guard the best player on the best team. What people don't really know about Smart is, well, he is actually really Smart. He tends to play against the highest competition whenever he is in the game and whenever the game is on the line. The fact that he said he can't wait to 'D-Up' LeBron is a great way of knowing that he is ready to take the next step. Whether he allows 10 points or 50 points to LeBron remains the be seen, but he certainly won't back down to a challenge and that is what the Celtics have been missing.
James Young is well known for his emphatic slam dunk during the National Championship Game last year. John Calipari only recruits NBA talent, so the fact that the Celtics took somewhat of a gamble on a lefty wing player is somewhat inspiring. It is certainly a nice gamble considering that there aren't as many lefty emphatic shooters in the NBA today. So it is a high risk, high reward type of pick at 17. Remember we did pass on Gary Harris (Mich St) and Rodney Hood (Duke) during the draft, so Danny Ainge must have seen the upside in Young and the progressions that he made during his NCAA tournament run.
Young seems to be a player that you ride with when he's hot and you sit down when he's cold. Now we know that he is really young (whoops), but he can progress through Brad Steven's system and put more of a commitment on the defensive side of the ball. Young's speciality is shooting, but even his college statistics weren't that great, so could he just be a Jeff Green replacement or will he be a Manu Ginobili type of role player to begin his career. That remains to be seen as well.
So its safe to say, right now, that the Celtics have been pretty smart this offseason so far. Drafting young talent and not overselling or overbuying on any one player just quite yet seems to be the right move. Since we are still in a rebuilding phase until we finalize what's going to happen with Rondo, I'd like to say that this Celtics team will be very young and have a very heavy defensive mindset going into the summer league. You know what the great coaches say, you win championships on great defenses, and that seems to be the strategy at the moment.
Just a few writers from Boston passionate about their sport's teams. Feel free to comment and leave your own opinion. I hope you enjoy!