New England Sports React

Looking For Love

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Kevin Love would provide an offensive spark for the Boston Celtics.

For a team that has a leprechaun as their mascot and a four-leaf clover as their logo, the Celtics sure have some terrible luck. Well, at least when it comes to the NBA draft.

Tuesday, the C’s earned the sixth pick in the first round, marking consecutive losing seasons that the team has failed to secure lower than a top-five pick. And despite the depth in this year’s draft class, Boston isn’t likely to find their next immediate impact player come June. So, it would seem almost definite that they’d heavily consider trading the pick, depending on the value they could receive in return. A name that’s been frequently mentioned is Timberwolves center Kevin Love, a power forward by nature who has more than adapted to the position. Love excels at collecting rebounds (offensive and defensive), including those that aren’t expected for smaller centers in the league, and shoots the three-ball with more effectiveness than I’ve ever seen a big man do in my 23 and a half years of life. His shooting and especially his rebounding will certainly improve a team that fails to do neither consistently. The question is, will Love’s abilities be enough to catapult the Celtics to a championship?

This fan doesn’t think so. Sure, Love is a unique talent, possessing both shooting touch as well as awareness on the ‘boads,’ but he doesn’t exhibit a mastery of the one aspect that is the foundation of the team: defense. Of course the team will benefit from his offense (his skill in throwing the outlet pass, too). But his inability to play the defender in one-on-one situations makes him less likely to be counted on as the anchor of the Celtics’ defensive unit. Assuming that the organization would part with Kelly Olynyk in a deal with Minnesota (he doesn’t have much potential anyways), a need would then arise at center. Tyson Chandler and Marcin Gortat are attractive names; but are they the right fit for this team? That leaves just one more major hole to fill: small forward (Jeff Green would likely be packaged with Olynyk in the Love deal). The spectacular LeBron James will find himself heeding offer after offer this offseason, with Boston an unlikely destination given their lack of offensive firepower; after all, James wants someone to be flashy with. Rajon Rondo certainly provides him that opportunity, but, to me, it just doesn’t seem likely. One thing I’ve learned over watching this team for the past decade, however, is that you can never count Danny Ainge out when it comes to making a move. And with the sixth overall pick in the draft, this certainly wouldn’t be the time to start.

-Ryan Hartley

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