Ever since the story broke that Kevin Love plans on getting out of Minnesota one way or another, speculation ran wild on where the three-time All-Star would be taking his game as soon as next season. There have been multiple teams that have said they have a strong interest in the star player including the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors and the Chicago Bulls.
The Bulls have been rumored to be interested in Love for the past few seasons, as the current situation involving Carlos Boozer has produced less than what the Bulls had expected when signing the veteran to a five-year contract. However, don’t expect the Bulls to offer a hefty enough deal to the Minnesota Timberwolves that would bring Love to the Windy City.
The Bulls just don’t have the right tradable assets to complete this trade. The most likely trade scenario the Bulls would offer would involve Boozer, Taj Gibson and a secondary player and/or a 2014 draft pick. Contrarily, the Wolves are looking to rebuild. The struggle with this scenario is Gibson’s remaining contract (three years/ nearly $25 million). No matter how good of player Gibson could be, he’s not worth that kind of money to Minnesota.
The only asset that I foresee as interchangeable would be swapping Gibson for Jimmy Butler in the deal, which I would be shocked to see happen. Butler, arguably the team’s most coveted player not under a long-term contract, personifies who the Bulls are — tough and defensively minded.
I just don’t see the front office letting go of a potential star in this league still under his rookie contract (unless they are able to sign Carmelo Anthony). Keeping the core team together is more important than signing a big name in Love.
Additionally, the Warriors are the favorite to land Love this summer. They have a number of tradable assets, and a deal involving David Lee, Harrison Barnes and maybe even Klay Thompson would be enough to satisfy Minnesota parting with their superstar.
The Wolves may also be able to unload Kevin Martin’s awful contract in a trade. That would make a starting five of Ricky Rubio, Thompson, Barnes, Lee and Nikola Pekovic for Minnesota. That is certainly a lineup to build around.
The Bulls do have an outside shot to land Kevin Love, but it’s a much better fit financially and personnel wise to go all out for Anthony. Giving up multiple key assets for Love shouldn’t be the first priority. I would much rather have Gibson/Butler along side a Carmelo Anthony or another star player than just Kevin Love.