Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love may be traded before the season begins, which is logical when considering reports that he won’t re-sign there in free agency the following summer.
The Celtics are one of many teams rumored to be interested if indeed the Timberwolves decide on that course of action, and despite their current state of rebuilding that may not be of interest to Love initially, Boston has assets in the form of future first round draft picks and young players that would be enticing to Minnesota’s front office.
Love would likely have to agree to sign a max deal in free agency with a new team in order for them to give up anything of significance in exchange for his services, and it’s unclear how he feels about Boston. Read into this what you will, but he’s in town this weekend to check the city out.
From Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe:
Love was seen in Boston Friday hanging out at bars near TD Garden and took a picture with the owner of “The Greatest Bar,” and he also was seen fraternizing with Patriots players. On Saturday, Love walked the streets of the city and took a picture with a thrilled Harvard graduate. A smiling Love was sporting a Team USA Olympic sweater and was holding a beverage cup.
When approached by the Globe at a local hotel, Love said: “I’m sorry man, I can’t do nothing [in terms of talking], I can’t.” …
“I’ve never really spent much time in Boston. I don’t know it too well,” he said in February in New Orleans. “But I think as far as playing there, we love competing against those guys. I think they have a great coach and they have a ton of youngsters that are up-and-comers.”
The Celtics aren’t as immediately desirable as either the Warriors or the Bulls — teams reportedly at the top of Love’s wish list. But if Love believes in Brad Stevens as a head coach, and in Danny Ainge’s ability to build a contender around him from the front office, then Boston may in fact become an appealing destination if a trade, and not free agency, ultimately determines where he’ll play next.
Apparently, all it takes is a little public discussion of LeBron James‘ “broken” jump shot to get him back on balance and knocking down the three ball — he was 4-of-6 from deep Wednesday.
Then again J.R. Smith was 7-of-13, Kyrie Irving 4-of-5, and as a team the Cavaliers knocked down a record 25 threes — while shooting 55.6 percent — as they wiped the floor with the Hawks in Game 2.
In case you’re curious where the Cavs were hitting from, here’s the team’s shot chart.
The Houston Rockets aren’t in any rush to hire a new head coach, preferring to interview a wide range of candidates to find the right one. Jeff Van Gundy has been widely believed to be at the top of their list, now that Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks are off the market, but ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting another name that has entered the mix: Mike D’Antoni, who last held a head coaching job from 2012 to 2014 with the Lakers and currently serves as the Sixers’ lead assistant.
The Pacers, meanwhile, haven’t made a final decision on Frank Vogel’s future with the team, but all signs seem to point to him getting let go in the next few days. And if that happens, Stein reports that Vogel will also be on Houston’s list of candidates.
Given the Rockets’ massive drop-off on the defensive end this season, Vogel would seem to be a better fit than D’Antoni. But it sounds like the Rockets aren’t close to finding a replacement for J.B. Bickerstaff, although it would make sense to have a new coach in place by next month’s draft.
On Monday, the Hawks played the Cavaliers close and even led in the fourth quarter, leading plenty of optimism that Game 2 would be equally competitive, that the Hawks had something to build on.
The Cavs dominated from the start on Wednesday, with a 123-98 final score that was far closer than the game actually was — the Cavs led 74-36 at the half and led by as much as 38 at one point in the second half.
The Cavs also hit 25 three-pointers, which is the all-time record for a single game — regular season or playoffs. J.R. Smith hit seven of them, along with four each from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and three for Kevin Love.
18 of Cleveland’s threes came in the first half, also a playoff record, and this was all Atlanta could do:
That’s the kind of night it was for the Hawks, who now trail 2-0 in the series as it heads back to Atlanta.
LeBron James has always been an incredible passer. In the midst of the Cavs’ Game 2 beatdown of the Hawks, he zipped this one-handed beauty into the paint to Kyrie Irving, who kicked it out to Kevin Love for a corner three:
The three was just one of the 18 Cleveland hit in the first half, which set an NBA playoff record.