Celtics may have hard time lighting fireworks right now

Celtics may have hard time lighting fireworks right now
June 24, 2014, 3:00 pm
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BOSTON — Summer is officially upon us and Celtics Nation is eager to see those "fireworks" team co-owner Wyc Grousbeck alluded to earlier, come to fruition.

There's still plenty of time for the Celtics to pull off a blockbuster deal, but it's probably not going to happen between now and Thursday's NBA draft.

Boston's efforts to land Kevin Love from Minnesota appear to have hit a resounding thud with the Timberwwolves seemingly more locked into adding good but not great talent from Golden State or Chicago, rather than digging into the Celtics' treasure trove of draft picks.

While multiple reports said a deal with the Warriors is "dead," sources indicate that Golden State remains very much in the hunt for Love, as well as the Celtics and the Bulls who have emerged as the front-runner.

Boston landing Joel Embiid with the No. 6 pick certainly has the potential to be fireworks-worthy selection, although it's impact would not be immediate after Embiid underwent surgery last week on the navicular bone in his right foot that will reportedly keep him sidelined for at least four months.

Even if Embiid is available at No. 6 which is far from a given, his surgically repaired right foot along with the issues he had this past season at Kansas with his back, make him a high-risk, high-reward prospect who may never play to his potential.

Short of Embiid, look for Boston's short list of options at No. 6 to include Marcus Smart from Oklahoma State, Aaron Gordon of Arizona, Noah Vonleh of Indiana (and from Haverhill, Mass.) as well as Kentucky's Julius Randle and Australian guard Dante Exum although Exum is expected to be off the board by the time Boston selects.

They're all good players, but none with the exception of Embiid would qualify as a fireworks-caliber addition to the Celtics roster.

So if Boston can't make a big splash on draft night, what about this summer?

The biggest names on the free agent market are Miami's LeBron James and New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony.

In the coming days, they are likely to be followed by Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.

They're all free agents, but to see them in a Celtics uni?

Not happening.

Boston's pursuit of Kevin Love speaks to the best shot the Celtics have this season of landing a high-impact, difference-making player.

It has to come by way of trade.

Love is still a possibility, but the Celtics are expected to rekindle talks next month with the Houston Rockets regarding Omer Asik, in addition to checking back in with the Utah Jazz regarding the availability of restricted free-agent-to-be Gordon Hayward who played his college ball at Butler under Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.

Adding one or both of those players wouldn't make the Celtics title contenders overnight.

But it would be progress; the kind of progress that provides a much-needed jolt to a team with many needs - among them, a few fireworks-worthy signings.