Love is out, no matter how Saunders feels. If I was Love, and if he wants to win. I recommend playing in the Eastern Conference. Going to the Suns would be good for him, but the Suns just missed the playoffs in the rough Western Conference. Love to Boston is what the Celtics need, and I hope that Danny can get the jump on it. The relationship, or the lack of one between Ainge and Saunders, could hurt the Celtics.
That’s not exactly on his list of “places I will sign a new deal” but the Suns want in the game, reports Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports:
Suns interested in Love deal w/best assets Dragic, Bledsoe & picks.NBA sources say it will take full max deal to control free agent Bledsoe.
Danny needs to learn to kiss some ass if he wants Love.. The Boston Herald wrote an article about Rondo being the key for the Love deal to happen.
Lagging at the end of the line are the two big-market shoppers, the Lakers and Knicks, with virtually nothing to offer.
Compared to them, Ainge is in good shape. He has nine first-round picks over the next four drafts, including two Brooklyn picks (2016, 2018) that may appreciate considerably. He also has a pair of interesting pot sweeteners in Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger. Olynyk, in particular, is an intriguing chip. Saunders was said to be deeply disappointed when the Celtics moved up to take Olynyk with the 13th pick last year. He was forced to settle for a project, swingman Shabazz Muhammad, at No. 14. It’s unlikely Olynyk did anything to change Saunders’ mind as s second-team pick on the NBA’s All-Rookie team.
So Ainge has to believe he has a reasonable chance of bringing Love back for more than just another weekend visit. But there’s a secondary issue at the back of his mind tied directly to this bid for Love.
Love could be pivotal to Rajon Rondo’s future with the Celtics.
Without Rondo, Love has no reason to come here. Without Love, the Celtics lack an ironclad reason to hold onto their most valuable trading chip.
And with a contract that will pay him a very reasonable $13 million in his last season, Rondo is that rare combination of affordable, good and extremely tradeable.
There are many reasons why the mercurial Celtics captain may play better somewhere else. His ball-dominating style is better-suited to a team of veteran finishers than it is to Brad Stevens’ fledgling motion system.
It was preposterous two winters ago when, after Rondo went down with a torn ACL, the debate started over whether the Celtics were a better team without him. They did indeed go on a run in the ensuing two weeks with Avery Bradley at point guard. That’s how long it took for Bradley’s latent weaknesses at the position to be exposed.
The Eastern Conference may look different next year, or we should just allow Miami to play in the Finals every year for the next 5 years.