Kevin Love is now a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, as the three-team deal with the Cavs and the Philadelphia 76ers is complete.
There is plenty of analysis to be discussed about the trade in general, so of course we covered that already. However, now let’s look at this trade from the perspective of Celtics Nation.
Cleveland and the Chicago Bulls are now the favorites in the Eastern Conference, and that isn’t going to change for say, three-to-five years. That leaves Boston struggling to decide how it should approach the next few years in terms of what chances to take, like trying to trade for a Kevin Love-type player, or continuing to develop draft picks and more under-the-radar signings.
The C’s roster doesn’t make this decision of which path to go on any easier. They have a star in Rajon Rondo waiting for others around him to progress, as well as mediocre veterans in Jeff Green and Brandon Bass tying up some of the immediate cap room. Then there’s Gerald Wallace who will be a burden for a couple more seasons unless he retires, which isn’t happening even if he wins the lotto (though he kind of already did).
Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, Marcus Smart, and James Young are part of a “green” core that could maybe support a star or two on a very good team, but it is definitely too early to see how these players will shape up on their own in the NBA. Realistically, the Kevin Love trade might delay what the Celtics were trying to do if they were going to keep Rondo.
So does this mean they should move Rondo for more young assets? Well, for the first time I find myself saying yes. Rondo is one of my favorite Celtics over the past few years, and his style of play brings an excitement that only the top players in the league bring on any given night.
However, Boston isn’t going to compete in the next three years barring the acquisition of another big name player next to Rondo, a guy who isn’t going to wait too long for that to occur. Danny Ainge will have to get probably 80 cents on the dollar for Rondo in this year’s trade deadline, but that will still bring more assets to eventually move for someone in the coming seasons.
Boston has never been a big destination for free agents, so it is important for Ainge to acquire as many valuables as possible to make a deal in the next year or so. Unfortunately, the only way he gets enough of those goodies is by moving his star point guard.