Sources close to the situation have told the Herald that Boston’s offer of draft picks and players isn’t nearly the best the Timberwolves have received — or expect to receive — for their All-Star forward.
The Celtics are willing to discuss a number of options, but none of them includes the quality of player with NBA experience that Minnesota is seeking or believes it can get elsewhere.
One source indicated Denver and Golden State have both made more intriguing offers, and there are other teams very much in the picture, as well. There have been conflicting reports on whether the Warriors would make Klay Thompson available, but the Wolves are said to be confident they can find a more than acceptable deal there.
It appears that Minnesota wants at least one player who has proven himself to be a real difference-maker at the NBA level. If Boston is offering Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger and draft picks, that would not fit the criteria. The most appealing part of the Celtics’ offer would be the sixth pick in this year’s draft, but that apparently doesn’t do it for the Wolves.
At present, however, what the Celtics have to offer isn’t getting it done. According to a source, the first-round picks they own from the Nets are not seen as being of overwhelming value, and, where the Celts had an Al Jefferson to offer Minnesota for Kevin Garnett six years ago, neither Jared Sullinger nor Kelly Olynyk rises to that level in the Wolves’ eyes this time around.
As for the Celtics’ No. 6 overall pick, one NBA source has been told directly that Minnesota believes it can get a player of equal quality later in the first round. The Timberwolves hold the 13th pick, but multiple offers would allow them to select higher.
Minnesota’s obviously in a tricky position, and it’s going to have to balance setting itself up for the future with acquiring players who can help now. The Wolves apparently don’t want to blow the whole thing up and bottom out, so it seems they’ll be after young players who are already productive.
By James Herbert | NBA writer