You need to make a splash if you want to be considered a true contender in the NBA.
Teams can mutter around mediocrity and collect draft picks, gain cap space and other similar moves to try and position yourself in a league that’s dominated by stars.
There’s always a rare opportunity that sprouts its head for a given team to sell the mortgage for a star player.
The time is now for the Chicago Bulls to sell the mortgage, kids and all other personal belongings for Kevin Love.
Being buried in the Western Conference for what has seemed like ages since the departure of Kevin Garnett, the Minnesota Timberwovles aren’t getting better anytime soon. Their roster features a collection of decorated and highly athletic players who haven’t connected the dots of the NBA game.
But Love isn’t one of those guys.
Love adamantly pushed for a max-contract with the Timberwolves. He saw through all the mid-level signings of the Luke Ridnours, Martell Wesbters and all the other so-so talented players. But the Timberwolves’ management didn’t see Love as their franchise player – or, at least, not financially speaking since he’s yet to take them to the playoffs.
While Minnesota slowly crumbles and the eventual demise and firing of general manager David Kahn is almost imminent, this is the time for Bulls vice president John Paxson and general manager Gar Forman to strike while the opportunity to acquire one of the highest basketball-IQ players in the entire league is there for the taking.
Chicago’s off-season was quiet to say the least. They envisioned this season as a “pass”, with Derrick Rose sidelined from torn ACL he suffered during the opening round of last year’s playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers. There was no point to pay the Bench Mob, since the driving force of their success in Rose wasn’t expected to play until the final months of the regular season.
There shouldn’t be any more talk of core players, either. Valuing and trusting high-energy players can only take you so far in the NBA – and by far I mean early exits out of the playoffs. Finding a way to blend the hustle guys with the guys who are talented can bring more success.
Love can hustle with the best of them, but he can simply ball, too. He’s arguably the best outlet passer in the entire league, and undeniably the best passing power forward. The label of him being a power forward should be taken with a grain of salt, though. He can stretch the floor with his arsenal of an offensive game.
Bulls’ head coach Tom Thibodeau wouldn’t be against this. In fact, he’d be head over heels for a guy like Love who is coachable, efficient on both ends of the court and is an overall good-character kind of guy.
Joakim Noah would likely have to apart of any deal involving Love. Both contracts are fairly even, and finding and matching contracts in the NBA is a game in itself.
The chatter around the Bulls’ next free agency plans has them targeting 2014. By then, Carlos Boozer will have been hopefully amnestied, Luol Deng’s contract will be off the books and Chicago will have flexibility with money to play with.
You can’t wait till 2014. You can’t wait to recruit players to come to Chicago – as its last two plans to sign big-named free agents have failed.
Everyone except Rose is expendable. This Bulls team is fun to watch during the regular season, but once you get to the playoffs, you need guys with brass.
There’s no reason for Rose to carry a bunch of subpar players. No player – regardless of how talented they are – can carry a team to a championship. This isn’t a stab at Rose at all. He needs help, and not the kind he’s been given so far in his young career in Chicago.
Love is all you need.