It is no secret to the sports world that Kevin Love has expressed his desire to be traded before the upcoming season, and has reportedly given a list of teams to management of which organizations he would like them to deal him to. It’s anybody’s guess when President of Basketball Operations, part owner and new head coach Flip Saunders will make a decision on when and where Love will be shipped off to, but he should be more focused on what trade package most benefits the future of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and not the future of Love.
Regardless, the opportunity to join the Chicago Bulls is a tantalizing one for Love. With two other star players in Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah locked up for the next few years, what’s not to like about the situation?
But if Love wants to come to Chicago before he is an unrestricted free agent next summer, the Bulls will have to give up a lot to get him. And therein lies the problem. A deal for Love would likely include Carlos Boozer (he’s gone regardless, so not a problem), Jimmy Butler or Taj Gibson, as well as European standout Nikola Mirotic. And even that might not be enough to match the offers and contracts that the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics could offer Minnesota in exchange for the star PF.
The Bulls should focus on their No. 1 free-agent priority, Carmelo Anthony, and leave the Love situation alone until well into July. Signing Anthony is the top priority for the Bulls not only because he’s the best player available, but it would also allow the team to keep their stable of young talent intact. As we have seen, a team with three stars can win an NBA Championship, and if Anthony signs with Chicago this summer, it would be comparable to the Miami Heat’s Big 3. A potential starting lineup next season of Rose, Butler, Anthony, Gibson and Noah is an amazing starting five that has a bench behind it that isn’t terrible would put the Bulls in contention immediately.
The only drawback personnel-wise that I see with signing Anthony is that it basically means Butler’s days in Chicago are numbered. But a one-year run with arguably the most talented roster in the league is something that I, and all Chicago Bulls fans, want to see.
Do I think Anthony can help the Bulls win a Championship? Yes. Do I think its Anthony or bust for the Bulls this summer? Not in the least bit. There are multiple free agents this summer who could help improve a team that has one of the better records in the Eastern Conference over the past handful of seasons. With the return of Rose to the lineup (hopefully for a full season), any upgrade to the team will be felt next season.
That being said, Anthony would certainly be more than a casual upgrade.