BOSTON (CBS) — Boston Celtics fans are hoping Danny Ainge can swing a trade for Minnesota All Star Kevin Love this summer, but he’ll have plenty competition.
The Celtics have a treasure trove of future draft picks and young talent, but according to reports, the Timberwolves may not want to go through another rebuild from the bottom and may prefer packages that include veterans players. The Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets are among the teams that can out-bid the Celtics on that front.
So what will the Celtics do if Kevin Love is traded elsewhere this summer? CBSSports.com’s Zach Harper joined The Adam Jones Show on Monday to break it down, and thinks the Celtics should use their first round picks if they can’t acquire Love.
“I think you draft the best player available, and it doesn’t have to be a guy who is definitely part of your future,” said Harper “I think the combination of Rajon Rondo, if you decide to keep him, and Aaron Gordon would be a fantastic way to start rebuilding.”
Gordon, a 6-9 forward from Arizona, is an athletic specimen who has been compared to the Clippers’ Blake Griffin, but is knocked for lacking an overall offensive game. But he should be available for the Celtics with the sixth overall pick, and would be another young asset for Danny Ainge.
“You’re always in that mode of trying to get as many assets as possible, because you may want to build up from the ground like the Oklahoma City Thunder did,” said Harper. “But that’s also very hard to do and requires a lot of patience. You’re also in a position to trade for the next super star; if it’s not Kevin Love this time, you never know who it’s going to be the next time.”
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This is a big season for Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, who will become a free agent next summer. Rondo has already said he intends on testing the free agent market, and Harper said the Celtics can rebuild either with or without their star point guard.
“I cant imagine he’ll be part of a long rebuild. If they can grab that other All Star to play next to him then he’s a guy in your plans for a very long time,” he said. “But if not, why wouldn’t you try to maximize his trade value? Show his knee is healthy and then move him by the deadline and try to get a draft pick or more assets.
“There are some people around the league who don’t think he’s in the top-tier of point guards, but I think he is,” added Harper. “If you decide to build with him it’s a brilliant decision, and if you decide to move him for assets, as long as you don’t strike out on that trade, that’s a great decision as well.”
Harper also gives his take on Derek Fisher being named the new head coach of the New York Knicks. Listen below: