You Can Officially Add Kevin Love To The Offseason Wish List

kevinlove

So maybe this summer won’t be Carmelo Anthony or Bust.

According to a report from ESPN.com, Kevin Love has told the Minnesota Timberwolves that isn’t interested in signing a contract extension with the team, and that he plans on becoming an unrestricted free agent after next season. All of which could be very good news for the Bulls, but according to the report, there’s even better news.

While Love hasn’t asked the Wolves to trade him just yet, the fact he doesn’t want to sign an extension is a pretty clear message to the team that he’s not planning on staying, which could push the Wolves to move him in a trade this summer. Two of the teams that Love is interested in are the Golden State Warriors and the Chicago Bulls.

Now, this isn’t exactly new information. I wrote about Love’s desire to be “big time in a big city,” and Chicago certainly qualifies as one of those. What makes this latest report more promising, though, is that while the Lakers and Knicks are certainly still in play — they are the Lakers and Knicks, after all — Love’s priority is reportedly immediate contention.

Neither the Knicks or Lakers can provide that right now.

Now, if the Bulls were to pull off a trade for Love, they’d have to get him to agree to an extension first, or the price wouldn’t be worth it. Odds are if the Bulls want to get Love they’re going to have to start with Taj Gibson and at least one of their two first round draft picks this summer.

I don’t know that there’s a trade that works or makes sense (maybe Minnesota would just take Boozer!) but it’s nice to know that the Bulls have another option should the pursuit of Carmelo Anthony not work out.

Hell, it’s possible they’d prioritize Love over Anthony, I don’t know.

Whatever they do, at least now we can all debate over which one they should go after until they miss out on both.

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3 thoughts on “You Can Officially Add Kevin Love To The Offseason Wish List

  1. Gimme Love. Carmelo has a 3-year average PER of 23.43 since the 11-12 season (when he was 27, so this has been “prime of career”), while Love has posted an average PER of 25.5 his last 3 healthy years. The age argument also favors Love. Carmelo’s career high rating is 24.8 which Love has bested his past 2 full seasons and he’ll only be 26 next year. No stat is perfect, but PER is the best we got. I think the biggest advantage of taking Love over Anthony is that it allows us to keep the luxury of using Taj as a bench player. I also like that he spreads the floor out just as much as Melo but he doesn’t need to be a guy taking the ball out of Derrick’s hands constantly like Melo would.

    There is a scenario where I’m very happy with Melo, but that entails using him at the 4 like the Knicks have been and going with small ball, but I know Thibs would never ever consider that. It makes so much sense though. Let Butler go back to playing the 3 full time, keep Taj in his sixth man role, have a more threatening offense. Noah is a good fit with his passing, and while Gibson isn’t a natural fit, I feel like he’s good enough now to be effective in any offense. Just his energy makes him so good and that’ll play anywhere. I know the Knicks haven’t been very successful these last two years with Melo primarily at the 4, but I would hope we could do better as we actually play defense and have a better supporting cast. Melo has been really, really good at the 4, better than he ever was as a 3. I know some of that has to do with simply entering his prime, but his insane jump in efficiency rating shows he’s a much better player in a small ball system. It doesn’t really matter all that much if he’s labeled 3 or 4 if he comes, I just don’t want a starting/crunch time lineup with Butler, Anthony, Gibson and Noah all out there. It looks good on paper, but Butler is better at the 3 and Anthony is better when working as a smaller big with range and room for isolation. And the value of having an above average post player come off the bench is so huge and not many teams have that, I think it’s something we need to maintain even though Taj probably (and deservedly) feels like he should be a starter. I know our defense would take a huge hit, but maybe that’s okay given how our all-defense philosophy hasn’t really gotten us anywhere in the postseason.

    That being said, Thibs is going to keep with what he knows. And Love is a much better fit for that. Much higher probability of success with that plan anyways, but the small ball thing intrigues me even though most teams fall short doing it. I think we could be different though if we ever pursue it with this roster, Thibs and Melo.

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