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2014 Free Agency, NBA / Jun 20, 2014 / 12:00 pm

Report: If Celtics Can’t Land Kevin Love, They’ll Look To Trade Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo, Brad Stevens

Rajon Rondo, Brad Stevens (John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports)

After the Warrior surprised some by including up-and-coming shooting guard Klay Thompson in their package for ‘Wolves forward Kevin Love, they’ve surpassed the Celtics in the race to acquire the all-star forward this summer. If the Celtics lose out on Love, they’ll likely go full-on rebuild and trade Rajon Rondo, with a longer rebuild to follow.

According to Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe, the C’s have been surpassed as the most likely destination for the unhappy Love, with Klay Thompson an integral piece — along with David Lee — to make a Dubs-‘Wolves deal come to fruition.

With a trade package that is expected to include guard Klay Thompson and forward David Lee, the Golden State Warriors are considered the front-runners to land Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love in a deal, NBA sources told the Globe on Thursday.

A source close to the situation pointed out that “nothing is imminent” with regard to a potential deal, adding that pieces involved are still being discussed. Trade talks between the Timberwolves and several teams pursuing Love, including the Celtics, are expected to intensify leading up to the June 26 draft.

“Like anything else, they’re going to say, ‘We’ll wait until the last minute to see if anyone can up the ante,’” a league source said to Holmes.

One would assume, if the 2014 Draft were happening today, the ‘Wolves would likely pull the trigger, since a haul of the young Thompson and the decent — though lacking on defense — Lee is their best option at present.

Previously, according to source for Baxter Holmes of the Boston Herald, the Celtics had been offering the 6 and 17 picks in the 2014 Draft, Kelly Olynyk and one of their own future No. 1 picks for Love. But the Thompson/Lee tandem trumps that haul of young players, it appears.

If this is true, Holmes continues, that could spell the end of Rajon Rondo’s time in Boston. GM Danny Ainge will likely decide to go into a stretched out rebuild, necessitating the trade of the competitive Rondo:

What those teams learned is that Minnesota wants a player of some reasonable substance as an immediate benefit in a deal that won’t fully bear its fruit until any draft picks it receives are selected and developed.

If the Celtics cannot get Love, they are planning to continue with the longer and more methodical rebuilding process, a process that would likely see Rajon Rondo traded. (An NBA source said they would also have a taker for Jeff Green if they chose to move him.)

As recently as this week Rondo had spoken publicly about competing for a title if the Celtics can land someone like Carmelo Anthony in free agency.

Right now, though, it seems the Celtics will go back to the drawing board. The package of Thompson/Lee is simply too inviting for a ‘Wolves team run and now coached by Flip Saunders. Many feel Flip finds rebuilding with a young group of players in his first gig back as coach anathema to what he wants to achieve in his new position with the Timerwolves.

As we come up on the 2014 Draft, look for more bids for Love’s services to follow, but right now the Dubs are in the lead, with a host of domino pieces sure to follow if Love is dealt to the Bay.

Should the C’s trade Rondo if they miss out on Love?

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  • Rick Rice

    Yeah Baxter, that makes a lot of sense! If the Celtics can’t get Love, just throw their hands in the air and give up, trade Rondo and dwell in the NBA cellar for years to come! THANK GOD YOU ARE NOT THE CELTICS GM!

  • 2cents

    Agree with Rice’s comments here, as it makes no sense to trade a pass first point guard. If anything Rondo is good to build around, it’s more a question of Rondo would be happy playing the patient veteran role.