On the opening night of free agency, the Celtics reached out to more than two dozen players, getting caught up in the open-market frenzy, expressing their admiration for players, many of whom they realized they never would sign.

A week later, the Celtics are eerily quiet. They only have signed their own restricted free agent, Avery Bradley, on the second day of signings. An NBA source said they are backing off their pursuit of free agent Kris Humphries.


However, a league source said Monday that president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is attempting to gather assets to acquire Kevin Love, convinced he can devise a package that would entice Minnesota Timberwolves president Flip Saunders to move the three-time All-Star, who will be a free agent next season.

Ainge admitted that things have been quiet so far, and of course was reluctant to discuss anything dealing with free agency.

“You never know what to expect,” he said Monday as the Celtics dropped their summer league contest to the Pacers. “When you have conversations, I have a great deal of respect in the league and what they’re all trying to accomplish. I don’t know what’s going to shake out when it’s all said and done.”

When asked if he was pleased with the current state of the team, he said, “There’s a lot more to do. It’s a long summer.”

According to two NBA sources, Ainge has been dogged in his pursuit of Love, and several agents believe he has the creativity to put together an attractive package.


The Celtics are essentially out of salary cap space, but they do have a $10.2 million trade exception from the Paul Pierce deal they have to use by Saturday. They also have potentially talented rookie James Young to offer in a deal. While Young was ruled out of summer league with a neck injury, there was speculation the Celtics are keeping him on ice in case of a potential deal.

Saunders wasn’t in Minnesota for the Kevin Garnett trade. He was coaching the Pistons then, but he does not want a repeat of that lopsided deal from seven years ago. Of the five players acquired in the trade, four — Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, Ryan Gomes, and Theo Ratliff — made little or no impact with the Timberwolves.