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Celtics to pitch Kevin Love on a Big 3 that includes Robin Lopez and Paul Pierce

Yes, Robin Lopez and Paul Pierce. It's a weird idea.

The Boston Celtics' pitch to sign Kevin Love as a free agent this summer will include the chance to play with Robin Lopez and Paul Pierce, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Love opted out of the final year of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday and will hit the open market on July 1.

If you had to read that first sentence a couple of times, yes, the Celtics' plan to convince Love to leave Cleveland involves the lesser Lopez brother and a 37-year-old wing, neither of whom is currently on the roster. Assuming Love goes forward with his plans to meet with other teams next month as a free agent, that's how Boston will apparently try to show him the grass is greener on the Celtics' side.

Love has been consistent in saying he'll return to the Cavaliers next season regardless of whether he opts out, but now the door is open and other teams can make their best offers. Cleveland can pony up a longer term and more money than anyone else, so it would take an enticing situation for Love to make a move. Does the Celtics' possible offer of a Big Three featuring Lopez and Pierce really muster that much excitement?

Why Love would sign with Boston

The Celtics could build their team around Love. Above all the issues that the forward had in Cleveland last season, the biggest was the coaching staff's inability to figure out how to maximize Love's skill set on the offensive end of the floor. For a player in his prime, spending those years in the wrong role simply to be a complimentary piece on a contender may not be enough for Love.

In Boston, Love would not only be the face of the franchise, but the cornerstone of everything the team does. On offense, Love would likely be the focal point like he was in Minnesota, where he put up monster numbers, and on defense, expectations likely wouldn't be as high. In general, Love could largely go back to thriving in a role similar to the one he filled with the Timberwolves.

If Love wants to shoulder that bigger load, even at the likely expense of the chance at winning titles, it won't happen in Cleveland.

Why Love wouldn't sign with Boston

This about sums up why leaving the Cavaliers for the Celtics isn't in Love's best interest:

Not only would Love be leaving one of the most talented teams in the league, but he'd be doing so in order to take over an embarrassingly worse roster. This isn't meant to be a knock against Lopez or Pierce. They're just not the kind of players you build a contender around in 2015.

There's also the fact that the Celtics would need to open up additional cap space to fit all three players. Boston currently has over $40 million in cap hits and would need room for Love's max contract, plus the smaller deals for the other two veterans. Fitting all that would likely demand trading Gerald Wallace and his eight-figure salary, which could require the team to give up a draft pick. One could add that to the already large costs of putting together this Love-Lopez-Pierce Big Three.

It's all enough to make returning to Cleveland sound like a much simpler, more appealing proposition.

Likelihood (2/10)

If Love decides to leave the Cavaliers, it probably won't be to play with Lopez and Pierce in Boston. The Celtics should figure out a better plan to pry the forward loose, or one imagines he'll receive better opportunities elsewhere, Cleveland included.

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