Kevin Love's visit to Boston holds so much more power for the Minnesota Timberwolves than many fans realize. Love set social media ablaze by attending a Red Sox game with his agent, partying with fans, mingling with Patriots players, and meeting Celtics captain Rajon Rondo for 39 seconds.
However, by being so public, Love made what could've been a private vacation into a national story, which gives Minnesota team president Flip Saunders his greatest trading chip: pressure.
The 25-year-old looks like a guy that's ready to move on from Minnesota after his weekend in the City of Champions, but that's the point. It's now obvious that something could be close to happening, so if Saunders is really going to trade Love, then every other interested organization will now be pressured to give Minnesota their best possible offer.
Teams now know that they can't lollygag around anymore, waiting for the asking price to potentially drop; now it's game time. If Minnesota makes any deal, it's clear that they want it to happen before or during the NBA Draft on June 26th.
Saunders might've told Love that the Celtics have the best offer and that he should check out the city, but it's more likely that he actually told him to make this visit so other teams would enter serious trade discussions more quickly. Doing this would expedite the trading process and therefore maximize the return for the Wolves.
Love wants to win, but he's also loyal to the organization that drafted him and to all of his friends and teammates still on the Wolves, which is precisely why he'd agree to do something like this.
Besides, getting traded to a potential winning franchise while boosting the return for the team that gave him a chance in the NBA would be a great victory for him.
Kevin Love might end up being traded to the Boston Celtics, but it won't be because of his visit this past weekend; it'll only happen if Danny Ainge is able to sustain the best possible trade offer until draft night, when Minnesota will probably pull the trigger on Love.