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Deveney: Celtics could act as third team in a Kevin Love trade

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Sean Deveney of the Sporting News is reporting that although Boston remains a possible destination for Kevin Love, the Celtics could also work out a deal as a third team that would send him to either Golden State, Chicago, or Cleveland.

Jared Wickerham

There's still a slim chance that Love ends up in green, but it's looking more and more likely that he'll end up elsewhere, but Ainge could still work his assets into the mix.  Deveney has the scoop:

Sources told Sporting News that Philadelphia and Denver, again, are interested in participating in whatever deal happens for Love. Denver has interest in acquiring Love themselves, while the Sixers would like to facilitate a trade by including forward Thaddeus Young.

Boston, another source said, would like to acquire Love, but would be willing to include some part of its trove of draft picks if they would help bring in a player who can contribute immediately.

Not only are the Warriors, Bulls, and Cavaliers jockeying for position to land Love; there's also competition on who could serve as middle man in the blockbuster trade of the summer.  Deveney mentions the inclusion of Philly's young filly Thaddeus Young, so it raises the question: who would Danny throw into the mix and more importantly, who would come to Boston that would "contribute immediately?"

Ainge has been stockpiling assets all summer, including a previous deal with Cleveland that landed Tyler Zeller and Marcus Thornton and signing Evan Turner to a portion of the MLE.  And if he can't land Love, there are a few consolation prizes he could settle for in the end.  It's been rumored that for Flip Saunders to trade Love, he'd like to include J.J. Barea and/or Kevin Martin.  With a glut of wings on the Celtics' roster already, taking on one of those players would further create a logjam at shooting guard and small forward, but Danny might swallow that pill if it meant bringing in someone for the now and later. #rimprotector

Gorgui Dieng could be a possibility.  The Timberwolves already have Nikola Pekovic locked up for four more years at the center position.  If Love eventually does end up with LeBron, Ainge could take on the reclamation project of Dion Waiters if Minnesota doesn't want him to stunt the development of Zach LaVine or Shabazz Muhammed.  If it's Golden State, Minnesota has had their eye on Klay Thompson, but if Harrison Barnes is included in the trade, he could be diverted to a third team.  Chris Sheridan is reporting that the Bulls' offer includes Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic, and Doug McDermott; all three are young players that would help Minnesota immediately, so it's doubtful that Boston could work itself into Chicago's deal.  If I'm Ainge, the only way I'm helping Gar Forman is if he can pry away Joakim Noah, right?

From Boston, there are a number of expiring contracts (and picks) that could entice Minnesota and whoever-is-the-bride-to-be to include them in the wedding party.  There's Jeff Green and his manageable $9M contract for next season.  Brandon Bass, Joel Anthony, and Marcus Thornton come off the books next season.  And please, nobody mention Rajon Rondo in the comments or I might just freak...