The Boston Celtics need some interior help to contend for a title, but Kevin Love is not the answer.
The Boston Celtics have four potential All-Stars on their team, but a big man is not one of them.
Quite frankly, the 2019-20 Boston Celtics don’t need an All-Star caliber big man to compete when they have Kemba Walker, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum all playing at an All-Star level.
They do, however, need a solid big man who can defend down low, keeping a big man like Joel Embiid from dominating a game.
While big men Daniel Theis, Robert Williams and Enes Kanter have been serviceable, when it comes to protecting the rim against players like Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo and potentially Anthony Davis in a playoff series, the Celtics weakness in the anterior could be their calling.
So, in ways, the rumors surrounding a possible addition of Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love makes sense.
A stretch five, who can rebound and certainly score 15-20 points any given game would be a nice complement to what the Celtics have at the guard and wing positions. But, obtaining a player like Love with the contract he has would ultimately take shipping Gordon Hayward back in advance.
If president of basketball operations Danny Ainge gets any hint that Hayward will opt out following the season, a deal is not out of the realm of possibility. But, is Kevin Love the player the team needs?
Boston Celtics legend Kevin McHale believes he is.
“Boston’s a team that he might fit in,” McHale said on NBA TV, via NESN. “With Kevin, he can really rebound the ball, everybody knows he can go get it off the board. You can play the five-out with Kevin. He can be center.”
Averaging 15.6 points and 10.5 rebounds at the age of 31, who can disagree with the fit…on paper.
Not only does Love have championship experience, he is still capable of coming through in big games. But durability and toughness are causes to pause when it comes to any deal involving Kevin Love, especially if it will take a Gordon Hayward to get it done.
Unless that deal involves Tristan Thompson, if Ainge is willing to trade Hayward, it should be for a big man like Steven Adams. With the scoring of Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, a big man like Adams would be the perfect complement.
His toughness and energy down low would at least make Joel Embiid work for his offense. He would also challenge the rim against a player like Antetokounmpo.
In summary, Kevin Love is the type of big man Brad Stevens loves, but his age and knack for injury are reasons Ainge would and should pull back on any deal considering the contract he would be taking on. Unless somehow the Cavaliers bought out Love (which is unlikely given the longevity of the deal), the Boston Celtics should explore other big man options.
Kevin Love was a nice dream five seasons ago, but he is not that player who will at least exchange muscle with Embiid. That player is more than likely an Adams or even a Serge Ibaka type.