The fever pitch around everything Kevin Love is at an all-time high. The Love sweepstakes have now become the biggest story left in the offseason, and rightfully so. Love is the game’s best power forward, so its only right that he warrants everyday attention since he has made it known his days as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves are all but over.
The usual suspects since the trade deadline are still options for the Timberwolves to choose from. The Golden State Warriors‘ package has been longstanding, as they are still reluctant about including Klay Thompson as a headline name in a trade that would land them Love.
The more recent and intriguing offer comes from the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have since added their homegrown king, LeBron James, back to their roster. The Timberwolves have the upper hand and can in turn ask for any additional assets. The Cavs don’t have much to offer other than an athletic prospect who has superstar written all over him. The Cavs have been on the fence about including rookie Andrew Wiggins in any deal for Love, but as the days pass it seems more and more likely that it will take that and a potential third team to facilitate any deal to Cleveland.
Insert the dark horse team or in this case the dark bull. The Chicago Bulls have also had a busy offseason, regardless of them not landing the second-biggest fish in the free agent market, Carmelo Anthony. The Bulls seemed steadfast that they would add pieces to the roster regardless of Anthony choosing them or not. They did just that, convincing All-Star forward and former Los Angeles Lakers big man Pau Gasol to sign and play in the Windy City.
The Gasol move gives them another skilled big man who can pass and a big who is still a technician on the low block. The Bulls have now offered a trade to the Timberwolves that is headlined by forward Taj Gibson and defensive specialist Jimmy Butler. Other assets have yet to be released, but this trade could entice the Timberwolves to bite on this fishing line much more than the bait offered by the Cavs.
The Timberwolves would be getting proven NBA talent, not potential talent. The Bulls would be landing the best power forward in the game to put alongside the Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah. A potential big three of Love, Noah and a healthy Derrick Rose could cause stress to every team in the Eastern Conference, and yes that includes the James-led Cavs.
While it is unclear if the Bulls would be able to take on the contract of Kevin Martin, the team would be a very big favorite to make it to the championship. Assuming they do take on the contract of Martin, they would have to give up Butler and maybe the fifth leading scorer in the Las Vegas Summer League, Tony Snell. Nonetheless, players are expendable when you have a chance to land the best player at any position.
The addition of Love, plus a healthy Rose, surrounded by shooters and a coach who is defense first sounds like a great recipe for immediate success. Assuming the first-round draft pick Doug McDermott isn’t included in a trade, he would thrive off a Love-Rose pick and roll. We all have our questions about Rose, but Love could be the perfect piece to aid him as he eases his way back to what fans hope is his old self.