Bill Simmons

Bill Simmons says Celtics are favorites to get Kevin Love, Celtics beat writers say Warriors have better shot

Bill Simmons — a known Celtics fan — thinks his favorite team will land Kevin Love. That’s in part because he has heard the Warriors aren’t interested in parting with their most valuable trade asset other than Stephen Curry.

The Celtics have been rumored to be looking at ways to bring Love to Boston, and Rajon Rondo recently denied recruiting Love when the two spoke at a recent Red Sox game. Simmons’ ESPN colleague, Chad Ford, provides some more Celtics-centric reasoning here: 

I continue to get strong signals that the Celtics are trying hard to use pick No. 6 and 17 along with future No. 1s and young players such as Jared Sullinger or Kelly Olynyk to persuade the Minnesota Timberwolves to trade them Kevin Love. One source close to the Wolves said that while Flip Saunders does not want to trade Love, he realizes the team likely will lose him this summer and the package the Celtics are offering is probably the best he’s going to get.

But the news regarding Love isn’t all of the #BostonStrong variety. Warriors fans hoping the team will bring him back to California will probably be interested in this:

Baxter Holmes covers the Celtics beat for the Boston Globe, and his tweet echoes what Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reported:

The Celtics’ pursuit of Kevin Love isn’t as hot as reports are indicating.

Sources close to the situation have told the Herald that Boston’s offer of draft picks and players isn’t nearly the best the Timberwolves have received — or expect to receive — for their All-Star forward.

The Celtics are willing to discuss a number of options, but none of them includes the quality of player with NBA experience that Minnesota is seeking or believes it can get elsewhere.

One source indicated Denver and Golden State have both made more intriguing offers, and there are other teams very much in the picture, as well. There have been conflicting reports on whether the Warriors would make Klay Thompson available, but the Wolves are said to be confident they can find a more than acceptable deal there.

This is where the recent Draft Lottery results really help the Warriors. If the Celtics (or Lakers) broke into the top three, they might have had the inside track on acquiring Love. But picks Nos. 6 and 17 plus mediocre players like Kelly Olynyk and/or Jared Sullinger probably isn’t what Minnesota had in mind for the most valuable trade commodity currently out there. 

The Warriors’ mettle will be tested here. Even if they offer their 2015 first round pick (they don’t have a 2014 pick to trade, and they couldn’t even if they wanted to), they’d have to wait until the draft takes place to consummate that deal with the T-Wolves. Bob Myers could probably get a deal done today if he included Thompson, but that would severely diminish Golden State’s already thin backcourt. 

A lot of this will come down to salary allocation. Thompson is a restricted free agent in 2015, and the Warriors are already dealing with a lack of financial flexibility. If they feel like a Curry-Love-Iguodala-Bogut core has a greater ceiling than the current group plus a midlevel exception addition, the Warriors may make a huge splash by dealing away Curry’s so-called “splash brother.” 

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