To borrow and change a phrase from the infamous Rick Pitino, the Lottery luck in this town just stinks. Tim Duncan is not walking through that door. Kevin Durant is not walking through that door. Joel Embiid is not walking through that door. We're just going to have to make our own luck.
The obvious next step is to start full steam ahead with the Kevin Love trade talks. Make no mistake, slipping back to 6 hurts the Celtics. If they had a top 3 pick, their decision would have been harder, but it sure sounds like they were willing to deal that pick.
And while it may seem the club will be more open to deals after failing to move up into a coveted top-three position, sources close to the situation said that Danny Ainge had been eager to see what a higher draft pick would have fetched on the market.
My belief is that a top 3 pick would have been a trump card to beat all other offers and it would have meant we could hold onto more of our future draft picks. Losing that leverage (if you can lose something you never had) means the Celtics will have to dip into their storage of future assets (or dip deeper).
Personally that's fine with me. We can't keep and use all the picks or we'd end up with a glorified D-League team before long. Those future picks are valuable assets. If you can manage to put lottery protections on them, all the better, but I wouldn't sweat it too much if you can't. It isn't like the odds are ever in our favor.
Getting back to Love specifically. I still believe that we can put together the best trade package for Minnesota. So the questions now become "are the Wolves really willing to deal him?" (several signs point to yes) and "is he willing to accept a trade to Boston?"
Nobody knows the answer to that 2nd question except Kevin Love himself (and perhaps his agent) Of course there are no shortage of guesses and rumors about that already. In a brief twitter conversation with Jeff Goodman he indicated to me that he'd be shocked if Kevin Love agreed to come to Boston (based on 8 years of knowing him - no inside information). Tim Welsh of CSN (and former Providence coach) hears otherwise.
A source close to Love told Welsh that the three-time All-star, "wants to play for an organization that's going to be a winning organization; not necessarily I have to go to a championship team now, but a team that's going to be built to move in that direction. Maybe it'll take a couple years. That's OK. But he needs a change from Minnesota."
I think Love would have to at least listen to Danny Ainge and his plan if only because he's done this before. The ownership group and front office is the same that made the summer of 2007 happen and they've got even more assets available at their disposal this time. It might not all happen at once, but even if we unload a bunch of assets to get Love, we'll still have a storage of future assets to keep or use (and a competent GM that knows how to use them). That's not something Love has ever had in Minny.
As much as Love would enjoy going back to Los Angeles, you can't tell me that the Lakers have a stable situation right now. If anything, they've blundered the last few years away. They don't have much to offer in terms of a trade and they won't have much if they do somehow make a deal happen (aside from a year or two of Kobe being Kobe).
The Wolves will have to do their due diligence and entertain all offers but at the end of the day I think both they and Kevin Love will see the best fit in Boston.
If not, well, that's not the end of the world either. There's always plan C or D or whatever. (via Bulpett)
Though it may be the last thing Celtic followers who went through this past season will want to hear, sources indicate the club is ready to go through another year of treading water if no blockbuster deals are available.
However, it's clear that Ainge would like to make something happen now, and he's putting every asset on the table.
"I think that everything's possible," he said, "and it's going to be a really interesting next month."
As Sean Grande indicates, the "worst case scenario" is that the Celtics select two talented basketball players and keep working on their foundation next year. Then we'll head into next summer ready to be major players in free agency, trades, and the draft. That's a little hard to swallow at this moment in time, but it isn't the worst thing in the world either.
Still, I'd very much like to see what's behind door number 3. I firmly believe that the team will go all out for Kevin Love in an effort to produce some of the fireworks that Wyc has been talking about. Love isn't necessarily going to make us instant contenders. But you need stars in this league and with Rondo and Love we'd have two major pieces to work with. It would be great to see what else Ainge could do with those building blocks in place.