BOSTON (CBS) – The NBA trade rumor mill is always swirling, but never as fast as it is right now with the draft on Thursday night and offseason in full swing.
Sports Illustrated senior writer Chris Mannix appeared on The Adam Jones Show Monday to help us sort through everything, starting with Kevin Love.
The Minnesota big man wants out of town and part owner/general manager/head coach Flip Saunders is listening to offers from other teams on the All-Star power forward.
When the draft is over on Thursday, Mannix believes Love will still be on the Timberwolves.
“You have to realize there’s zero sense of urgency on Minnesota’s part to make this deal on Kevin Love’s timetable. Kevin wants a trade to happen sooner rather than later. He doesn’t want to go into training camp answering these questions and having to deal with this type of distraction.
“For Minnesota and Flip Saunders, who has been around the block a few times, he knows that offers can get a lot better throughout the course of the summer. Go back to 2007 when Minnesota traded Kevin Garnett. That [trade] happened in late July, early August. Minnesota is more than willing to wait to see how these offers shake out.”
If Golden State keeps Klay Thompson on the table in a potential deal for Love, Mannix believes the Warriors are the frontrunner to make it happen, not the Celtics. Lack of a premier talent to send back to Minnesota is what’s hanging up a potential trade in Mannix’s mind.
“There’s no centerpiece player on the Celtics to offer Minnesota. I like Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk — they are nice players. But they are not Al Jefferson-type players. There’s a wide difference of opinion of what people in Boston think about Jared Sullinger and what the Timberwolves actually think. That’s obviously their weakness. The difference between Klay Thompson and Jared Sullinger? There’s a gap between those two the size of the Grand Canyon.”
Mannix also said that Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor was “irked” the Celtics won a championship with Kevin Garnett and had a good five year run. So for a team with the longest current playoff drought in the NBA, it’s a hard sell to the fans to be continually rebuilding and trading yet another star to Boston.
So if no Love, then what?
Some have speculated that with Rajon Rondo entering free agency next summer the Celtics would be willing to deal the All Star point guard if for some reason they get Kevin Love. Mannix said a Rondo trade is not in the cards, at least not yet anyway.
“I don’t think Rondo gets dealt on draft night. I don’t think he gets dealt in the offseason. I think this team has to see what he looks like going into next year healthy with this group. The earliest he can get dealt, and the last time he can get dealt is at the trade deadline. I think that’s the plan with Boston.”
Mannix says if a Kevin Love trade doesn’t happen then Celtics fans shouldn’t fret, because right now there’s plenty of other players on the trading block that we just don’t know about yet.
Listen below for the full discussion, including his thoughts on the draft: