The Boston Celtics, who have been linked to Kevin Love for at least two years, may not have abandoned their pursuit of him. Danny Ainge attend a workout with Excel Sports Management clients in New York City recently and met with prominent agent Jeff Schwartz, a league source told RealGM’s Andrew Perna. Schwartz represents Love, as well as Harrison Barnes, who will be a restricted free agent this summer.
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Brandon Ingram, the presumed No. 2 pick in next week’s draft is also a client of Excel, but Ainge is believed to have inquired with Schwartz about whether a trade for Love could be revisited. The Celtics hold the third, 16th and 23rd picks in the draft, as well as five second-round picks.
Whether the Cavs should really pay Love and Thompson $36 million combined to scrounge crunch-time minutes is a question for the offseason. Boston made an offer for Love at the deadline, sources have told ESPN.com, and though the Cavs found it disatisfying, the Celtics may call again if other stars higher on their list aren’t available.
And word is the Celtics would also be unwilling to part with the Nets’ pick if the Cavaliers choose to be more interested in making Kevin Love available. The C’s have never really stopped being interested in Love after their hot pursuit in the summer of 2014 when he was with the Timberwolves, and it was reported here that if Cleveland didn’t come through with the big contract last summer, Love would have been looking at Boston as a landing spot.
But now with his large deal in place and physical questions (sources say a knee problem may be more of an issue than his back or shoulder), how much would the C’s be willing to offer? And, again, that presupposes the Cavs change their stance and look harder and what Love could bring back on the open market.
Cleveland’s growing interest in New Orleans’ Ryan Anderson bodes well in Boston’s seemingly never-ending quest to acquire Kevin Love in what’s shaping up to be a potential three-team deal that would include the Boston Celtics. The particulars of the deal are still in the discussion phase, but the end result if it comes to pass would send Love to Boston, according to a league source.
MacMullan feels the Celtics and Danny Ainge will make another run at Kevin Love. She feels Love has gotten a “raw deal” in Cleveland, but ultimately she doesn’t think Love will be dealt because of where the Cavaliers are at in the standings. “I do believe that Danny is going to make another run at Kevin Love because we know that he’s coveted Love all along,” MacMullan said. “The one thing that I think is interesting about Love, everybody is down on him — well, he stretches the floor, which we know Brad Stevens likes, right? Well, he can’t defend and I don’t know how you guys feel about real plus/minus, I tend to be a fan and I am sure the Celtics have things that are much more sophisticated than what we use at ESPN for real plus/minus, but just for the heck of it, I looked it up this morning on Kevin Love. He’s 12th overall in the league. That is pretty good.
“I would be thrilled if the Celtics could bring Kevin Love here, I just don’t think it’s going to happen. If I am Cleveland, I’m the best team in the East and we all know every team — Golden State, San Antonio, they are one injury away from being vulnerable, I’m standing pat for the most part.”
The Celts do have interest in both Love and Horford; the question is price. And the expectation continues to be that, while the C’s would go higher for Love than Horford, their present teams want more than Ainge will give.
But league sources say that the Cavs have made it clear to interested teams — starting, of course, with the Love-hungry Boston Celtics — that they’d covet a star in return if or when they do reach the point of letting Love go … and not a package of draft picks and role players like the Celtics are offering.
There was even a report Friday night Boston and Cleveland had “very preliminary talks’’ about whether to ask the Knicks if they wanted to join a three-way trade with Anthony that included Kevin Love, with Anthony going to Cleveland. An NBA source told The Post the Knicks had not been approached by the teams, and there was “nothing to it.” The report also stated talks did not progress.
The Daily News has learned that the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers have discussed a blockbuster trade centered around Kevin Love. There were very preliminary discussions about expanding the deal to include the Knicks and Anthony, who would have to waive his no-trade clause in order to facilitate a deal to the Cavs. The Knicks would receive draft picks and players in return. One of those players is believed to be Timofey Mozgov, who five years ago was traded by the Knicks to Denver in the Anthony deal.
Those talks have not progressed. Plus Anthony reiterated on Friday that he has no plans to seek a trade. However, when asked if he’s thought about his future with a losing organization, Anthony gave a cryptic answer. “Not yet. I’m pretty sure I’ll have that conversation with myself and my family and my team,” he said. “But it’s not a conversation for right now.”
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