5 Reasons Why Chicago Bulls Should Not Trade For Kevin Love

5 Reasons Why Chicago Bulls Shouldn't Trade for Kevin Love

Kevin Love Chicago Bulls
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There has been much consternation over the Chicago Bulls' inability to find a second superstar to pair with Derrick Rose. Similar to 2010, several players of that ilk are becoming available who many feel could turn the Bulls into a top contender. Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love have both expressed interest in playing in Chicago, but the Bulls should be pursuing only one of them -- and it isn't Love.

5. Kevin Love Can't Play Defense

Kevin Love Chicago Bulls
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5. Kevin Love Can't Play Defense

Kevin Love Chicago Bulls
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Love is a weak defender, often exposed due to limited athleticism. He is slow on his feet and would look out of place from day one in Tom Thibodeau's system, not unlike the soon-to-be-departed Carlos Boozer. The Bulls are better off letting Taj Gibson start, who is cheaper, excellent defensively and still improving on the other end as well.

4. Acquiring Love Would Likely Require Trading Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler Chicago Bulls
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4. Acquiring Love Would Likely Require Trading Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler Chicago Bulls
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The Minnesota Timberwolves rightly want a king's ransom if they do trade Love, and Jimmy Butler would almost surely be a part of any eventual package from the Bulls. Butler is Chicago's best perimeter defender by a mile, and he has serious potential despite an up-and-down sophomore season in the NBA. Look across the league and you'll see that nearly every genuine contender has an elite perimeter defender. The Bulls should hang onto theirs.

3. Love Isn't the Correct Fit

Kevin Love Chicago Bulls
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3. Love Isn't the Correct Fit

Kevin Love Chicago Bulls
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As small ball continues to take over the NBA, the importance of high quality offensive swingmen only increases. This is undoubtedly where the Bulls are weakest. It makes much more sense to pursue, say, Carmelo Anthony, than it does to go after Love; Chicago has Nikola Mirotic on the way to go with Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah, but the team has very little after Jimmy Butler on the wing. Love isn't the best way to address the team's scoring issues.

2. Acquiring Love Would Likely Require Trading Taj Gibson

Taj Gibson Chicago Bulls
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2. Acquiring Love Would Likely Require Trading Taj Gibson

Taj Gibson Chicago Bulls
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The combination of Gibson and Noah in the frontcourt is a scary defensive duo for opposing teams, and Thibodeau will be using them together even more now with Carlos Boozer gone. Gibson blossomed in 2013-14, significantly developing offensively despite the Bulls not having Derrick Rose. He is too valuable on defense. With all the other pieces Chicago would have to give up on top of Gibson, a trade for Love would be a lateral move at best.

1. Bulls Need to Focus On Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony Chicago Bulls
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1. Bulls Need to Focus On Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony Chicago Bulls
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In a similar vein to what was discussed in reason No. 3, Anthony is the ideal choice for the Bulls. He is the elite scoring wing player Chicago hasn't had since Michael Jordan. He also wouldn't cost Chicago any assets other than pure dollars, since he is a free agent unlike Love. The Bulls must set their sights on Anthony; he doesn't just address the scoring need, but a positional weakness as well.

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  • tdh

    I agree Melo is the guy CHI should focus on.

    I like the free agency signing argument best.

    Mirotic will require the non-tax MLE ($5M) to buyout this year. So only if CHI has Melo agreed in free agency, they should amnesty Boozer and pass on Mirotic until next year. Next year, Mirotic will not require a buyout and be just as attainable to CHI.

    To get the cap space up, CHI will need to minimize the first round cap holds. They are reportedly looking to trade 16 + 19 for a pick possibly DEN’s 11th pick or ORL 12th pick. If they can pull this off then they need to draft another swingman SF/SG that can shoot well including 3′s. CHI will have the 2nd round pick which does not have a cap hold, so they should pickup another BIG (F-C type) for depth.

    If CHI gets their swingman with the first round pick, then CHI can trade Dunleavy’s final year for nothing back against the cap. There will be some interested teams.

    This would get CHI to around $17M to offer Melo. This is a bit more respectable. NYK have repeatedly implied they want to sign Melo to less than max starting in 2015, so $17M should not be far from what they intend to do, and Melo does not need to wait another year in his prime. MIA if they can pull off all sorts of moving deals, could only offer about $13M to Melo. LAL or BOS could offer more money, but each of those teams is much further than CHI or MIA from contending next year.

    CHI can use their Room MLE to sign a backup guard (DJ is an option and wants to stay), also they can look at other free agents especially players that can play both the combo guard role.

    CHI can then go to veteran FA looking for vet minimum players that want a chance at a title. There are always some players out there. That can fill most of the roster depth.

    I like this scenario and in 2015 they can sign Mirotic and will still have all their picks and the Deng trade protected picks to continue adding depth and flexibility.

    • Jimbo

      If defense is one reason to not bring love then the same would apply for melo.

      • tdh

        Not exactly. Love implies that you must send Butler and Gibson to MIN. The losses on defense are not just that of KLove, but of the other losses in the deal. Melo is plausible to obtain depending on the situation and not lose Butler and possibly not Gibson if CHI is lucky. Melo is just as much of a defensive liability as Love (or currently Boozer) and the team can deal with that if they don’t lose solid defensive players like both Gibson and Butler. The deal to get Love will create other defensive problems at other positions than the position Love will play. Melo could potentially be obtained in free agency if he takes a cut to $16-18M max. Or in most scenarios of S&T CHI can find a way to keep at least Butler or Gibson, or possibly Both if the expiring deal of Boozer can be found to be a benefit to NYK since it expires for their 2015 plan and if it came with enough picks to allow them to swallow that deal.