BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics are reportedly willing to offer up their lottery pick in next month's draft in a package to obtain Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love.
But considering Minnesota will have plenty of suitors vying for Love's services, sources indicate Boston would have to "dig a little deeper" into its treasure trove of assets to get a deal done.
The Celtics don't have the kind of high-level talent to swing a deal for Love that some other suitors, such as Golden State and Chicago, can offer Minnesota. But they do have several draft picks at their disposal in the coming years, which can help speed up the Timberwolves' rebuilding efforts following Love's departure.
Love is expected to exercise an early termination option, which would make him an unrestricted free agent in 2015. This creates added incentive for the Timberwolves to pursue a trade in advance rather than see lose him and get nothing in return.
And while there have been reports that the Santa Monica, Calif.-born Love's preference is to play on the West Coast, league sources say he is more focused on "finding a better situation" for winning.
But any team interested in trading for him would be seeking some assurances in advance that he would sign a multiyear, max contract extension.
Love was the No. 5 pick in the 2008 NBA draft and is one of just two lottery picks (top-14) from that class (Sacramento's Jason Thompson is the other) to have yet to appear in a playoff game. He has career averages of 19.1 points and 12.2 rebounds per game. This past season, he averaged 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds per game along with a career-best 4.4 assists.