But some teams just manage to lure the top players better than others. A big name-executive at the top, maybe a winning tradition, climate, a consistent supply of quality young pieces — whatever it is, the Celtics, Heat, and Houston Rockets have a rich tradition of sucking the talent from the less prestigious franchises.
One of these franchises has little room for another superstar.
One doesn’t have the money.
One has two draft picks, a young coach, Big Papi making a public effort to recruit talent, and infinite cap space.
That team is the Boston Celtics, and they’re going after a “Big Three” of Rajon Rondo, Kevin Love, and Carmelo Anthony.
[Rappler.com] The source, an insider at RealGM.com, said, “The Love deal is pretty much done. I think the fact that Kevin Love is so out and about in Boston is something that Danny wants out there so he can show someone like Melo that he means business. The Melo thing is the one that is on the hush. Melo is the primary target. They need a scorer from the wing position. Cs need to get Love first in order to work one (with) Melo. That’s why Kevin Love is in town, he knows he is headed to Boston. Love is a done deal, the focus now is Melo. He was the primary target. Love opting in on his final year allows the Cs to sign Melo to a long-term deal first. Then work on a team-friendly deal with Rondo and then take care of Kevin. Also, could Tyson Chandler be dealt to Boston?”
The reasons Carmelo and Love would opt-out this offseason are clear as day: They cannot and will not win a championship with their current set of teammates. Sorry Knicks and Wolves fans, but y’all suck and will continue to suck well into the foreseeable future.
On the other hand, the reasons the Wolves or Knicks would sign and trade their stars for top draft picks are even clearer. Relatively young teams with some promising talent (Knicks: Shumpert, Hardaway; Wolves: Rubio, Pekovic), New York and Minnesota would/could/should be at least considering the rebuild route as of right now, seeing as they both missed out on the playoffs when they shouldn’t have.
As far as what they’d get in return for dishing their studs, we can’t think of a better year to have the 6th and 17th picks. If you were Phil Jackson, would you consider trading Carmelo for a Julius Randle/Shabazz Napier combo? If you were Flip Saunders, would you rather let Kevin Love just walk or get Aaron Gordon and Nik Stauskas for the next six seasons? How about Marcus Smart and Doug McDermott? The point is, word is out that the Celtics want to make yet another epic splash in free agency, and rumors have swirled that Paul Pierce would consider a return to Beantown ever since the Brooklyn Nets experiment failed.
The planets seem to be aligning for the most storied franchise in basketball — could Boston be in for a worst-to-first 2014-15 campaign?
We wouldn’t put anything past Danny Ainge. Lord knows he has the assets (10 first-round draft picks over the next five seasons), the track record, and at least two desperate franchises to negotiate with, who are frantically searching for hope.
Could this be it?
Photos via Getty