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The Celtics predilection toward in Love, rather, has roots in four aspects of team and player: All four of these factors have remained constant since January 2012.

Love did sign with the Wolves just ahead of the deadline for extensions that year, but the negotiations created bitterness.


MORE: 15 worst, most untradable contracts in the NBA At the time, rumors had already bubbled up that Boston was looking to move on from the Paul Pierce-Kevin Garnett pairing, while Love appeared headed into free agency, unable to reach an extension agreement on his rookie contract.

MORE: 11 teams with real goals to accomplish at the deadline That bitterness would echo in comments later that year by Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor who said Love was no star, “because he hasn’t led us to the playoffs.” Love would later respond by pointing out that the Timberwolves were in constant disarray, pointing out that his team seemed to have no coherent plan.

That star-vs.-franchise dissonance would go on to fuel a litany of rumors about Love and his potential destinations, which have been many over the years: Phoenix or Los Angeles or Dallas or Houston or New York or Chicago or Golden State. At the All-Star game in 2014, Love gave Celtics fans a dab of hope, admitting he was not very familiar with the city but adding his impression was that it was a, “great city,” and telling the Boston Globe, “I’m sure free agents would love to go there, especially with [Brad] Stevens as a coach.

That would make Love a restricted free agent, and led to the first whiff of speculation came that perhaps the Timberwolves’ budding star would sign a deal in the summer of 2012 with the Celtics.

Here we are in 2016, and the Celtics have changed coaches, Pierce and Garnett have gone on to play for four other franchises combined, Love was traded to Cleveland for two No.

He’s a guy that can win basketball games.” That hope became full-on mania in May of 2014, after the Timberwolves and Love came to an understanding that they would work out a divorce.


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