The Boston Celtics are looking to expedite any so called re-building process, especially since making the playoffs last season. While even this big Celtics fan was skeptical of how long it would take, a few things stuck out like a sore thumb. 1. Brad Stevens is one heck of a coach. 2. Danny Ainge is a willing GM, like it or not. You can look up and down rosters throughout the NBA and see more talent. I'll give you the Knicks as a prime example. Say what you want about Carmelo Anthony, when they still had JR Smith and Iman Shumpert, that roster was "on paper," more talented. The Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat (even without Chris Bosh) and Indiana Pacers (without Paul George) were all more talented. If the Atlanta Hawks showed us anything, it's that a coach can make a difference when he is able to put a lineup together utilizing his rosters talent.
With the NBA Draft coming up tomorrow, it is expected around Beantown that GM Danny Ainge will be a busy man in trying to improve his team. From my perspective, the Celtics have draft picks that are not highly sought after. But if you pair that with a player like Avery Bradley or Isaiah Thomas, those picks become more valuable to a team looking for low cost additions. The rumor mill has already started after the NBA Finals regarding big name, second tier and third tier free agents potentially wearing green and white. While reading this you might be asking, why did he bring up those 2 names from the Celtics? I'm about to tell you.
An article from Grantland's Zach Lowe has stated that the Cleveland Cavaliers "could be looking to do a sign-and-trade with Kevin Love after advancing so far without him." This would actually make sense for Cleveland as they are better off with Tristan Thompson at the 4 for better defense and his ability to rebound, especially on the offensive end. While Love is better offensively, it is all about fit. Kevin Love has stated he wants to stay in Cleveland but not seeing him have the same cohesiveness with LeBron James as other players makes people believe that his stay in a Cavs uniform will be short. LeBron has all the pull in Cleveland. I believe he is the reason Thompson was still in a Cavs uniform this year as Thompson's agent is a friend of James. Which leads me to believe the Celtics have to be, if not 1, top 2 in the landing spots for Love via a sign-and-trade.
Here are my reasons. Remember the deal that brought Tyler Zeller to Boston and Marcus Thornton via Brooklyn to help Cleveland bring James back home? I do! The Celtics were even mentioned as a potential facilitator to help Cleveland land Love. While that happened without Boston's help, I say Cleveland owes Danny something for assisting them the way he did. The Celtics have the players and draft picks to help Cleveland more than any other team reports have stated he is willing to go to. Who can the Lakers offer? While their high draft pick is nice, the article mentions getting players that can help Cleveland win now. Any draft pick is a project. Look at the top 3 in this years class anyways as they are all positions filled already on the Cavs roster. From Towns, to Okafor to Russell. Center, power forward and the point guard position are all filled in Cleveland. Now shooting guard is another story.
Kevin Love visited Boston last summer and met with then Celtic Rajon Rondo. While Rondo is no longer here, the Celtics have improved and adding Love will help them get another player to make a run at the Eastern Conference. Love likes Boston and if you don't think he is a upgrade at the power forward position on this current roster, you are out of your mind. Bye Sullinger and whoever isn't needed. Why would the Cavs do this? Because the Celtics can provide draft picks and give them players to help now. Mainly Bradley and Thomas. If Cleveland needs a player to offset Golden States scoring and someone with an ability (according to NBA scouts) to guard Steph Curry or Klay Thompson, Bradley might be that guy. Even adding Brandon Bass, with a strong mid-range game off the bench is better than what they have now. Did I mention that the Celtics have the cap space to add a player like Love in a sign-and-trade? I just did!
There you have it. If the Cavaliers are willing to do a sign-and-trade with Love, Boston is the best landing spot. I'll give this, percentage wise a 60-40, for Kevin Love to Boston via sign-and-trade. I believe Love would not do any such deal if he is sent somewhere he doesn't approve of. If Love comes to Boston, maybe we can call Chicago on Derrick Rose. Maybe Rondo will want to come back. Anyway the Celtics can improve and be championship contenders, I'm all for it! Although if I'm Love, I'd play it out this year wherever and wait until next year for a max deal that will exceed any earning potential this offseason would bring due to the new TV deal set to kick in. That's just the business man in me talking. Check out the article I read about the sign-and-trade.