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The Lo Down: How We Trade for Kevin Love

Doug Pensinger, Getty Images

“With the 6th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics select Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves…”

Okay, so that’s not how the NBA draft works; but if this trade happens that’s what every Celtics fan will remember from this year’s draft; not which pick we had. Case in point, do you remember that we traded for Ray Allen or that Jeff Green was the 5th overall pick?

There are many variables and hundreds of ways Kevin Love could arrive in a Boston Celtics uniform, but to ground myself and channel some of my creative energy I used the Kevin Garnett trade of 2007; comparably here’s what the Boston Celtics traded for in 2007.

Kevin Garnett

  • 31 years old
  • Power Forward, 6’ 11”
  • 2006-2007 season statistics: 22.4 PPG / 12.8 RPG / 4.1 APG / 1.7 BPG
  • 10x NBA All-Star / 8x All-NBA Team / 7x NBA All-Defensive Team

…basically this guy was wicked good (pun intended).

While Kevin Love is younger, you could argue that the Celtics were receiving a more proven commodity, not to mention the additional guaranteed contract years (Ainge has already been quoted as willing to trade for Love without a guarantee of an extension… of which I agree.)

So historically what was the Kevin Garnett trade? Well here’s a handy visual reference right on cue:

The Kevin Garnett trade

CELTICS RECEIVE: TIMBERWOLVES RECEIVE:
Kevin Garnett                Boston 2009 1st Round Pick (pick 28)

‘07-‘08 contractually obligated year

Minnesota 2009 1st Round Pick (lottery / pick 6)

31 years of age

Al Jefferson

10 time all star

Ryan Gomes

‘08-‘09 player option

Sebastian Telfair

3 season extension w/ trade (’09-’12)

Gerald Green

Theo Ratliff (expiring contract)

 

Using this as a reference, here’s how I built a similar trade for Kevin Love; please notice the color coding distinguishes a no extension (yellow) or extension scenario (green).

The Kevin (of 2014) trade

CELTICS RECEIVE: TIMBERWOLVES RECEIVE:
Kevin Love

Boston Celtics 2014 1st Round Pick (pick 6)

‘14-‘15 contractually obligated year

Jared Sullinger

25 years of age (26 start of next season)

(In the event of an agreed extension…)

3 time all star

Future 1st Round Pick (many to choose from)

Extension terms:

Brandon Bass (expiring contract)

’15-’16 opt-in @ $16.744 million

Joel Anthony (expiring contract)

5 year max extension (Bird rights)

Additional 1st Round Pick or Player TBD*

Yes, I am willing to trade this year’s lottery pick without an extension; while it is risky this is attached to two stipulations.

First, I assume that the presence of Jeff Schwartz (agent of record for Paul Pierce) can at the very least persuade Love into exercising the ’15-’16 player-option. Regarding the asterisk, the player to be determined would be young, but would not be Kelly Olynyk (Olynyk I have saved for part II of my series, after all this is a Celtics dream season, not just a single trade).

However, if Kelly Olynyk is the one piece holding up the trade with an extension, I still proceed with this transaction; I’m even willing to grant both the additional pick and player, assuming the extension of Kevin Love becomes a reality.

On a more complicated note, don’t worry about salary (I already measured and it will work, plus I’ll get into salary cap later on in my series) for now trust me you want to read the short version, which is basically – YES THIS TRADE WILL WORK/ If necessary we can use one of our trade exceptions if the salaries don’t balance but that isn’t very difficult (again wait for part II of this series).

All of this will be announced trade night, and away we go the Celtics Dream Season will have officially begun!

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