Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge wants to improve his roster this summer, preferably by acquiring a superstar player or two to pair with All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas.
Two players who Ainge might target this offseason are Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love and Golden State Warriors swingman Harrison Barnes. Ainge reportedly met with their agent recently.
Love has been the subject of trade speculation over the last year for his disappointing play with the Cavaliers, among other reasons. He scored just two points in 33 minutes as the Cavs staved off elimination in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night.
Barnes has been a key part of the Warriors’ immense success over the last two seasons, and he’s set to become a restricted free agent this summer. Golden State has a lot of big contracts already on its books, and it has to re-sign two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry to a new deal before his current one expires in 2017. Curry obviously will get a max contract.
If the Warriors ever decide Barnes is too expensive to re-sign and don’t want to match a potential offer sheet, a trade could help Golden State get some assets in return for the former first-round draft pick.
Sean Deveney of the Sporting News wrote earlier in the week that “several teams with significant cap space this summer — the Celtics, Lakers, Suns, Mavericks among them — have the intention of pursuing Barnes, especially as a fallback option for (Kevin) Durant.”
The Celtics should aim higher than Love, whose recent injuries and lackluster performances are genuine concerns. Barnes is young and still has room for improvement in his game, but his inconsistency is frustrating. He’s probably not worth giving up quality assets to acquire.
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