BOSTON (CBS) – Former Providence Friars basketball coach and current Comcast SportsNet New England analyst Tim Welsh joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show Friday morning to talk about the odds of the Celtics landing Kevin Love in a trade with Minnesota and the upcoming NBA draft.

“Kevin Love is a good player, but I think it’s a longshot for Boston,” said Welsh.

This comes off the heels of Welsh’s comments made a few days ago on television when he said Love would be open to a trade here. But being open to a trade and the trade actually going down are two different things.

Welsh has connections with people in the Love camp and he’s certainly got a feel for the situation.

“We have some people close to him that are with him on the west coast. Some guys say, ‘I’m never going to city X or team Y’ — and Kevin Love has said he doesn’t have a problem going to Boston if it’s right.

“People are saying that he likes to play beach volleyball and that he wants to be in Los Angeles, well sure. You don’t play beach volleyball during the season no matter where you live. If you’re an NBA player, on off days you rest, or rehab or get in the gym. That’s kind of a fallacy. He’s going to live in L.A. in the offseason no matter what — as did Kevin Garnett.

“He’s only 25 years old. It’s not like he’s chasing a ring right now. He wants to go to a place, a situation, a franchise that is run in a championship way and Boston is included in that mix. He’s got a lot of respect for Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens — as do many players out there.

“Put all that together, if the T-Wolves like the Celtics package then I think Kevin Love would be agreeable to come here. That won’t be the only deal Danny makes, but put that together with a couple good players alongside Kevin Love and I think he’d have interest to come here.”

Danny Ainge said a few days ago on T&R that he wouldn’t necessarily need a guarantee from a player to stay here long-term to make a trade, which obviously comes with plenty of risk.

Welsh called it “a roll of the dice” but believes Ainge has plenty to sell that player — the city, the fans, etc — to convince him to stay long term.

As far as the draft next month is concerned, the Celtics hold the no. 6 pick and the consensus is that all the top guys will be off the board at that point, but Welsh doesn’t believe that to be true.

Welsh thinks either Julius Randle or Noah Vonleh will be available after five selections, and at that point it becomes a coin flip between the two. Personally, Welsh likes Vonleh just a little bit more.

“I would go with Vonleh. He’s a little longer than Randle. He’s not a center per se, but in today’s game not a lot of teams are using centers. He’s a Chris Bosh-type. He can step out and shoot the ball. He doesn’t like contact yet but he rebounds the ball well. He’s not that physical but as he puts weight onto that frame Vonleh will be really good.”

Welsh added that, provided the doctors clear him, there’s no way the Cavaliers shouldn’t take Kansas center Joel Embiid (back) first overall.

Listen below for the full discussion:


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