Not Love-in' the 2012 free agent crop?

Elsa/Getty Images

Kevin Love at work against the Celtics.Cross another one off the list...


The Minnesota Timberwolves and star forward Kevin Love at last have reached terms on a contract extension, according to sources close to the situation, beating Wednesday's midnight ET deadline. To do so, Minnesota had to grant Love a player option in the final year of a four-year deal worth in excess of $60 million, sources said.

Why does this matter for Boston? Well, let's just say the 2012 free-agent pool is looking murkier by the day. The Celtics have gone to great lengths to position themselves as major players this offseason, making recent deals with financial flexibility in mind. But imagine walking into the Apple Store with fistfuls of cash and all they've got is an Apple IIe and a first-generation iPhone sitting on the dais (wait, where did all the MacBooks and iPads go?)

It's not the end of the world for Boston if there's no big names left this offseason, it's simply a little bit more daunting. Especially considering there was a time when it appeared everyone from Love to Dwight Howard to Chris Paul might be available. A thin crop increases competition for top-line players and might force Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge to be a little bit more creative in the roster turnover process (including having to work the trade market with eyes towards adding a truly elite player).

Some have asked about bringing back Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett at discount prices for yet another rodeo. It's certainly not out of the realm of possibility, as we discussed in this week's mailbag.

The worst thing that the Celtics can do is spend foolishly on free agents they are simply lukewarm on. They can't settle for an iPhone 3GS when they were hoping the iPhone 5 might be out by the time they were ready to buy.

Hop HERE for a glimpse of the potential 2012 free agents, while noting that the list hasn't been updated with recent in-season deals like Love and Derrick Rose.