Kevin Love wouldn’t hate getting paid to play basketball in Boston.
As obvious as that might seem, Love’s city of preference is a key concern in the ongoing trade sweepstakes for the Minnesota Timberwolves’ star power forward. Love can opt out of the final season of his contract next summer if he is still in Minnesota — or any location he doesn’t care to be, presumably.
The 25-year-old attended UCLA and resides in Los Angeles, leading a lot of people to assume he would prefer to play for the Lakers. If fate lands him with the Celtics, however, Love would be up to the challenge, former Providence College coach Tim Welsh said, citing sources close to Love.
“He respects Danny Ainge,” Welsh told CSNNE’s Kyle Draper. “He’s already built it once. If (Ainge) can sell him, ‘Here’s the plan for the future,’ he’s open to it.”
Of all the teams reportedly vying for Love’s services, the Celtics are in a relatively advantageous position. They have no hefty, long-term contracts on the books beyond 2016 — when Love would become a free agent, if he exercises his option for the 2015-16 season — as many as 10 first-round draft picks over the next five years and an established All-Star in Rajon Rondo.
The Lakers, by contrast, are committed to paying Kobe Bryant close to $50 million over the next two seasons and do not have an incumbent star in his prime to pair with Love.
Love “wants to play for an organization that’s going to be a winning organization,” Welsh told CSNNE’s Kyle Draper. “Not necessarily, ‘I have to go to a championship team now, but a team that’s going to be built to move in that direction.’ Maybe it’ll take a couple years. That’s OK. He needs a change from Minnesota.”
Wolves owner Glen Taylor has said he does not plan to trade Love, but other reports indicate teams could ramp up their offers once the 2014 NBA draft order is set following Tuesday’s lottery.
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