Report: Boston Celtics one of few teams planning to offer 2014 draft pick for Kevin Love

Jared Wickerham

This report may not be much of a surprise, but Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports says league sources told him that the Boston Celtics are one of a few teams that will make a hard run for Kevin Love this summer.

Sources: Sam Mitchell emerges as Minnesota candidate with Kevin Love's future undecided - Yahoo Sports

"For the first time, [Saunders] sounds like looking at deals for [Love] is an option," one rival executive told Yahoo Sports.

The Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns are among many teams determined to make hard runs at trades for Love, league sources said. Boston and Los Angeles plan to make high-lottery picks in the 2014 NBA Draft available in offers for Love, sources said.

If the Celtics were able to bring in Kevin Love, they would acquire a star big man that can legitimately put up 26 points and 13 rebounds per game. Love can stretch the floor with threes, but he also has a savvy game from the high post because of his passing and his ability to pull up off the dribble. His defense wouldn't hurt the Celtics, but he rebounds like a vacuum, which would cut down on second chance opportunities that have hurt the team in the past.

Of those four teams, the Celtics clearly have the best chance at making the top offer for Kevin Love. Whether or not that offer is accepted, or the Minnesota Timberwolves prefer it, is a valuable that can't be predicted, but there is no doubt that the Celtics have the most ammo.

Boston has the clear advantage of being in the opposite conference. It's unlikely that Minnesota would deal a star player like Love to another team within their conference unless the offer was far and away superior to Boston's. And if that's the case, then it's extremely unlikely that the Warriors or Lakers win this war for Love.

Golden State has players like Harrison Barnes, David Lee, and Klay Thompson that could interest the Wolves, but they don't have high draft picks to put their offer over the top. Los Angeles has absolutely nothing to offer other than their 2014 first rounder. Their 2015 first is owned by Phoenix and the "Ted Stepien Rule" prevents them from offering future picks after that.

The fact that Phoenix owns the Lakers' 2015 first -- though it is top 5 protected -- gives them another huge trading chip in addition to their three first rounders this year, and some of the players on the roster. Players like Gerald Green, Alex Len, and Miles Plumlee could certainly interest Minnesota if they want a player with draft picks.

If Phoenix is willing to throw everything at Minnesota, then they still can't top Boston, if Danny Ainge is willing to go that far. The Celtics have the salary fillers to make a deal work, but also the young players too. Players like Jeff Green, Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk, and Jared Sullinger, could all work as pieces in a blockbuster deal for Kevin Love. And of course, there are those nine first round draft picks over the course of the next five seasons.

Stay tuned for the fireworks.

Update:

Kevin Love tells Minnesota Timberwolves he won't sign extension - ESPN

Kevin Love has made it clear to the Timberwolves that he intends to become an unrestricted free agent after next season and has no interest in a contract extension this summer to stay in Minnesota, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

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