Rapid Reaction: Love is a closed door

August, 7, 2014
Aug 7
11:35
AM ET
Kevin LoveGeoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports
Rapid reaction with Yahoo! Sports reporting that the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed in principle to a deal that will deliver Kevin Love to Cleveland:

WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE THE MEMORIES: For three days spanning into early June, Kevin Love sent Celtics fans into delirium with an unannounced visit to Boston. His trip featured well-publicized hobnobbing with some of Boston's top athletes, including a chance meeting with Rajon Rondo at Fenway Park. Celtics fans convinced themselves it was the start of a process that would deliver Love to Boston and reinvigorate a team that won 25 games last season. Alas, Minnesota never seemingly warmed to what Boston had to offer and Celtics fans were left clinging to a hope that no other tantalizing offer would emerge for Minnesota and maybe they'd have to consider Boston's package.

LOTTERY LUCK AIDED CLEVELAND: After vaulting to the top spot in the draft lottery, Cleveland became the frontrunner to land Love, particularly when it relented in its willingness to include Andrew Wiggins after picking him at No. 1 (and bringing LeBron James to town certainly made it easier for Love to agree to be shipped there). While the buzz out of Minnesota was that they didn't desire a package centered on rebuilding, the chance to add two recent No. 1 picks, especially one with the potential of Wiggins, was too good to pass up, particularly when it was clear Love had one foot out the door. No matter how good Marcus Smart and James Young became during their NBA careers, the Nos. 6 and 17 picks simply weren't as attractive to Minnesota as Wiggins was at No. 1 as the centerpiece of a return package.

NO LOVE AS THIRD TEAM: The Yahoo! report seems to suggest that the deal is a two-team trade, meaning that Boston and its overcrowded roster doesn't appear likely to jump in as a third team. Many wondered if the Celtics, with their handful of nonguaranteed deals, might be able to help facilitate the deal -- at least getting something out of this whole Love saga -- but that does not appear likely.

NO MORE LOVE FOR LOVE: Expect Love to assume the villain role in Boston now, particularly after joining forces with James. As innocuous as his June visit might have been, he teased the fan base here with his presence and -- fair or not -- he'll hear some boos when he visits next season because of where he landed.

ANOTHER BIG NAME OFF THE BOARD NEXT SUMMER: With Yahoo! reporting that Love will sign a long-term extension with Cleveland, it takes another potential big-name free agent off the board next summer when the Celtics might have the resources to pursue a big-ticket star.

AT LEAST ITS OVER: Celtics fans got swept up in all the twists and turns in the Love saga, even when it was clear the Timberwolves were lukewarm on what they were offering. With the trade soon to be executed, Boston fans can move on.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
16.9 1.7 0.7 34.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksB. Bass 0.9