Roughly one month ago, before the draft, before free agency began, the Chicago Bulls were one of the first teams to fire a trade proposal to Minnesota for Kevin Love. The package at the time was rumored to be Taj Gibson, Tony Snell, the #16 & #19 picks in this years draft, along with future picks. That package didn’t work, obviously. It was documented that a trade involving Kevin Love would have to also involve Joakim Noah, and the Bulls were not willing to pull the trigger at the time.
Chicago along with Golden State were the two front-runners for Love a month ago, fast forward to today, and a lot has changed. Golden State refused to trade Klay Thompson, which took them out of the running. Cleveland, who at one time Kevin Love all but laughed at the idea of becoming a Cavalier, is now the front-runner. With the addition of LeBron James this offseason, Kevin Love suddenly loves the idea of going to Cleveland. Can you really blame him? Cleveland and Minnesota have been going back and forth for roughly a week on trade scenarios. The most recent request is Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and 2 future first rounders for Kevin Love.
So what does Chicago have to offer that is more appealing than two young potential stars? Well, proven players. Marc Stein was recently on the Waddle and Silvy show and stated that he feels Flip Saunders would rather have proven players that he knows can contribute right away. Marc is under the impression that the Wolves, even if they do lose Love, would want to continue their path to make the playoffs. Would Wiggins and Bennett help that scenario more than say a combo of Gibson, Butler, Snell, and/or Mirotic? While Wiggins looks to be the future of the league, there are obvious question marks surrounding Anthony Bennett’s ability at the NBA level. By gaining 2 proven starters, a solid bench piece, as well as the best player in the world outside of the NBA, its hard to say the Wolves would be worse off if in fact the said offer is on the table from Chicago. Oh by the way, the Bulls offer supposedly includes a few first round picks as well. I know, seems like a bit much.
Joe Cowley reported on the latest Love rumor today. A source close to the situation stated “I would like to know which side let that out”. Chicago seems just about finished with their offseason acquisitions so why would they start over with their supposed “Plan 1A”? The source may have been implying that the Bulls are once again being used for a team or player to get exactly what they want. Leverage. The Bulls are set as one of the deepest and most well-rounded rosters in the Eastern Conference. Letting go of 3-4 key players to add Kevin Love at this stage of the offseason would seem foolish. With the slim pickings left in the free agency pool, would this Bulls team really be better with Kevin Love? Could they be able to put enough around Rose, Love, Pau, and Jo, to allow them to compete throughout the playoffs before running out of steam? Questions like these really have me doubting the fact that the Bulls are seriously back in the running for Kevin Love. Chicago is merely being used as a pawn in this big chess match between Minnesota and Cleveland, to ensure the Timberwolves get the most they can for Love. Along with putting pressure on the Cavs to agree to the deal before rookie Andrew Wiggins signs his contract. According to league rules, a rookie can not be traded for 30 days after signing with their team. So, it most likely is only a matter of time before Kevin Love will be taking his talents to Cleveland, joining LeBron James and company.
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