THURSDAY, 7:55am: The Celtics have yet to make an offer for Love, though they are prepared to do so, reports Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald. It’ll almost certainly include the No. 6 pick, though Ainge has been in contact with two teams in the top five about moving up, Murphy adds.
WEDNESDAY, 11:48pm: Kevin Love is willing to consider a long-term deal with the Celtics, sources tell Jackie MacMullan of ESPNBoston.com, but the Wolves aren’t thrilled with what the Celtics can offer, MacMullan hears. The Wolves privately maintain they’ve received better offers from Bulls and others, according to MacMullan.
Minnesota owner Glen Taylor is reluctant to deal with Boston, stung by the divergent fortunes of the Celtics and Wolves following the 2007 Kevin Garnett trade, MacMullan writes. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has hard feelings about Flip Saunders, who holds the same title in Minnesota, feeling as though Saunders undermined former Wolves boss Kevin McHale, Ainge’s longtime teammate, as MacMullan details. There are basketball-related stumbling blocks, too. Minnesota, like most others, is enamored with Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Jabari Parker, but Boston’s pick, at No. 6 overall, isn’t as nearly as attractive as one in the top three, MacMullan notes. Still, the Wolves aren’t interested in trading with the Cavs, either, according to MacMullan, in spite of Cleveland’s possession of the No. 1 overall pick.
Taylor would be willing to re-sign Love for the max if he changed his mind about wanting out, and he’s otherwise not eager to take a drastic step down in a trade involving Love, MacMullan writes. MacMullan lists the Celtics, Bulls, Warriors, Suns, Lakers and Rockets as teams that will make a run at trading for Love. Certainly every team in the league has some level of interest in the Second Team All-NBA power forward, but MacMullan appears to indicate that those six are the clubs poised to make the most aggressive pushes.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports first reported about two weeks ago that Boston was becoming more and more appealing for Love, who, with agent Jeff Schwartz in tow, made a high-profile visit to the city this past weekend. Still, Love is not yet a free agent. The Wolves will have the final say over where he plays next season, and it doesn’t look like they’re as high on the Celtics as Love is.