Kevin Love won't extend in Minnesota, Chicago on his destination list

Kevin Love won't extend in Minnesota, Chicago on his destination list

Kevin Love has had enough of losing. He wants out, and he's given Minnesota a list of teams to be traded to. According to ESPN, Chicago makes the list.

Full link here

Although sources say Love has stopped short of demanding a trade, his position could effectively force the Timberwolves to deal the All-Star forward before next season -- or before the trade deadline in February 2015 at the latest -- if they hope to dodge the risk of losing him without compensation.

It's important to note that Love isn't demanding a trade just yet. He is demanding a winning situation. Minnesota isn't likely to deal him prior to the trade deadline for that reason. They'll look at the LaMarcus Aldridge situation in Portland and think just like Portland they might be in position to take that big jump next season.

This is especially true if they can get a miracle tomorrow night and land a top three pick or if they find a high quality player with their later selection. Either way, since Love doesn't seem averse to staying in Minnesota if they can win and Minnesota isn't so far off winning, they'll almost certainly wait until the deadline.

If they do so, the Bulls would need to keep Carlos Boozer around to be in the bidding war for Love just so they can match salaries. This is why I said amnestying Boozer isn't a definite this off-season. While he was crap on a stick most of last season, he's not totally worthless on the court (ie, if he played 10-15 minutes as your third big man off the bench you could live with him), and he might open up more flexibility at the deadline.

Two sources told the AP that the likely asking price would include a high first-round pick in this year's draft and a veteran or two who could bring immediate leadership to a team that lacks it.

Sources told that the Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls are among the potential trade destinations that intrigue Love.

Looking at what the Wolves want and the Bulls have, a match doesn't seem to make much sense though. Chicago won't have a high pick to offer, and they might not have much veteran talent they'd be willing to move either. Possibly Taj Gibson along with Carlos Boozer in a salary matching scenario.

However, if it gets to the deadline, and Minnesota is doing poorly, then they'll probably be in the 10c on the dollar market for Love. The teams he's willing to extend with won't likely have the packages or the desire to give up what Minnesota wants. If Minnesota waits and chances on extending Love then their odds of getting full value back if they fail to do so go down dramatically.

The Lakers would seem to have the best shot at an offer if Love is willing to be patient, because they can likely offer a top six pick (lottery results pending) for Love along without sending any bad salary back. Love has always favored LA, but that's not really a winning situation right now, so it's a leap of faith for him.

After the Dwight Howard fiasco, it's unlikely LA trades for Love without an extension in place. Would Love roll the dice on LA becoming a contender with Kobe on the verge of retirement and coming back from a couple of long term injuries at his age? Who knows.

Should the Bulls want Love at the max?

Kevin Love's awesome, but for a player with a 25+ PER, he doesn't seem to impact winning all that much. He's not a force on defense nor is he an elite athlete. Of course, both of those criticism also apply to Carmelo Anthony, and we have no qualms about adding him.

I'm not sure that Love is as much of a natural scorer as Anthony, but I think his fit along side a healthy Rose is certainly much better, and he'd fit very well next to Joakim Noah as well. I like the look and feel of the team with Kevin Love on it in terms of chemistry of the players.

He doesn't demand the ball as much as Anthony, and he spaces the floor really well by providing three point shooting from the four spot which the Bulls could really use given that their wing players aren't great shooters.

That said, is Kevin Love a 20+ million per year player? I'm not so sure about that, but that's what it will take to get him on top of giving up a bunch of other assets. It makes me a little queasy to give up multiple picks/players in order to get a guy whom is paid at the high end of his value, but much like Anthony, if it can be done, it should be done.

Boozer + Mirotic + 2 1sts for Love this off-season and I'm a happy camper. Is that enough to get the deal done? Probably not. My guess is Minnesota waits to the deadline and risks a much smaller return in order to have a chance of keeping him.


Leave a comment
  • There's no way he is going back there and unless the T'Wolves trade up without trading Rubio/Love to get a lottery pick, it will be even harder for them next year. The Suns have cap space and numerous picks to trump the Wolves so there are at least 9 teams better in the West alone. If they wait until the deadline, they will get hardly anything as most teams probably have used their assets during the offseason. I would totally offer Boozer, Mirotic, 2 firsts and the sacs first. Maybe I would trade Taj to get another first to keep one of ours and ship that to get Love or use Taj to trade for a shooting guard!

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    Yea, they are in the same boat that OKC was 2 years ago when they traded Harden. Except that Harden actually wanted to stay in OKC, they just didn't want to pay him the minimax that he was eligible for.

    They definitely lose value the longer that they keep him. I bet that he isn't demanding a trade right now just for PR purposes, but secretly or sooner rather than later that will be his demand.

    Still think that the only way the Bulls get him is if he "forces" his desire to be a Bull. Supposedly he and Rose are friends, working out together in the summer.

    Still think that both he and the #1 pick in the draft end up in the Lakers hands.

  • Remind you that this is a star league. If we can get either Love or Carmelo, I would be willing to give up anybody, but Rose and Noa. A roster or Rose, Noa and either Love or Carmelo would be the next Big Three. They would still need to fill the roster with shooters and defenders, but this can be done as there are several players at this mid level on the market.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    Given that the Bulls stars would all be in the "low rung" star group, you'd need good depth to win with them. Granted, I'd still take the shot on the stars and acquiring depth later, however, we'd have very limited options to acquire it. We could only offer minimum salary contracts.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    While I agree that none of these guys are Lebron, what do you consider low rung, both Melo and Love are top 10 or 15 players at worst depending on who you ask. Until we know about Rose's health you can't really say where he is, but healthy he is top 10-15 at least also.

  • For all his limitations, Kevin Love is one of the 10 best players in the NBA. If you can get him, you trade everyone you have to besides Rose and Noah, and that includes Mirotic and Taj.

  • Just getting any star doesn't get it done just ask LA who has had Howard and Pau and Kobe and Andrew Bynum when he was good. Reason Carmelo would be a way better add IMO is he is one of the best iso scorers in the league and Bulls desperately need that. Whether Rose is hurt or not he would make us a dangerous team if we have Love and Rose is hurt we are much less dangerous because he is not a shot creator. Getting two shot creators is the whole point! If a stretch four is what you want just wait on Mirotic.

    This whole lets get Love bandwagon drives me crazy it so reminds me of the insane lets go all in for Pau bandwagon which some are still on! They don't win you championships!!! They are nice pieces but they are definitely not worth going all in on and it would be a major fail IMO. I would rather see them trade up in the draft use their pieces that way vs getting K Love. Do the Heat win championships because of Wade and LeBron or because of Chris Bosh? Chris Bosh is a nice piece but he doesn't have the impact of the other two despite being one of the best Power Forwards in the game. Seems stupid to get all hot after a position that has proven to have little impact on winning. You could say Dirk and I would agree but he was able to create his own shots which is different than the Love, Pau and Bosh types who can shoot but our spot up guys who thrive on being setup.

    Lets focus on what we need and stop the Love insanity please!

  • In reply to Chad:

    So basically, the only guys that we should even bother to try to get are a handful superstars who aren't available, like Lebron, Durant and who else.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Exactly. I'm not going to say this isn't true -- perhaps only LeBron or Durant get the Bulls a championship -- but if you believe this, then you have no right to complain about a FO that doesn't win championships.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Depending on how the team is constructed and the type of offense they run, I don't think it's necessary to have two pure shot creators to win a title. Kobe and Pau won two titles together and almost a third, with Kobe and Lamar Odom as the two main shot creators. Granted they had the triangle and great post play from Pau to lessen the burden on any player who was doubled or had the defense focused on them. As presently constructed and with the current offensive system in place, this Bulls team will have a better chance to compete for a title with a shot creator like Melo instead of Love. Or....

    Take a run at Durant when he becomes a FA. I don't think he's winning a title in the West.

  • In reply to Chad:

    The Lakers example is a poor one. Bynum had already begun his descent into "I don't give a damn"-dom. Pau and Kobe are old, and Dwight Howard is a child. Noah will work his ass off in this league until the wheels fall off. Rose, for all his faults, is also a proven hard worker. Love is extremely young and a better player at this point than any of the 6 players I just mentioned. The biggest contrast however, is in the head coach. Mike D'Antoni might be the worst ego handler I've ever seen. He is the anti-Phil. From when Howard go to LA to the day he left, they were coached by a guy that their leader had zero respect for. Compare that to the Bulls where Thibs has the unquestioned faith and support of his players. You saw what Thibs did last year. I'm of the belief that if you put Thibs in the driver seat in LA when Howard arrived, the results are much different.

  • OK, we would all love to see Love or Carmelo on the Bulls. But at what cost?

    When the Knicks got Carmelo and Stoude, how did that work out? It was good for Denver!

    One proposed trade is Taj, Butler, Mirotic, and 3 1st rounders for Love. That is 3 starters, and Mirotic might become an Allstar, plus the picks. And we do not know how good Rose is going to be. That is simply too much!

    Carmelo should come cheaper, and he could come now instead of at the trade deadline. He could come on an S&T for Boozer, or he could be signed as a FA.

    Which team is better? Rose, Love, and Noah? Or Rose, Carmelo, Noah, Butler, and Mirotic? (Taj probably would go in either case.) The second group has 2 extra starters! Plus more picks.

    If Butler is used properly at the 3 (SF) and not run into the ground, he is an important piece. Mirotic is a deadly shooter with excellent potential. I would not be in a rush to lose those guys.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    As an alternative, keep Taj and wait a year on Mirotic. Next season's lineup would be, Rose, Carmelo, Butler, Noah, and Taj. Of course, they need the SG since Butler is better at SF. In that case, Taj or Butler would come off the bench.

    Mirotic and a couple of picks could be traded to move up in the draft for a better SG. Superior yet, trade the 4 1st rounders to move up, keeping Mirotic for next year. That team should contend for years.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Interesting alternative. Is it better to get Melo, get Love, or just go with the guys we have + Mitotic + a legit starting SG? I might go the later route and see if Durant shakes free.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    This is a pretty good Plan B. Same wavelength with you as I mentioned it in a reply above.

    GarPax: Kevin, we're prepared for you to be a Bull, but we can't give you the superstar max.

    Durant: Give me one reason why I should sign here.

    GarPax: Westbrook is not a Bull

    Durant: Where do I sign??

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Who or where did you see that proposed, that is a serious boatload, sounds like more than Denver got for Melo. That is at least one player and one draft pick more than seems even remotely reasonable.

  • If Minnesota don't want any part of boozer in a trade for KLove and it's taj, the rights to mirotic and picks..I'm wondering if bulls can amnesty boozer and still sign Melo?! .There's your big FOUR right there. Rose Melo Love Noah.. .would bulls have mid level and bi ?? Can bulls buy picks? Bulls also have james, brewer and admunson contracts to trade. Also wondering if Minnesota would prefer moritic to pair with Rubio. .

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    You need to get rid of Taj to have enough room to sign Melo, so you couldn't later use him to get Love.

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    Wow, I doubt that works. Love at $15.7 mil next year.

    Bulls could throw in:
    Butler at $8 mil
    Dunleavy at $3 mil
    Butler at $2.1 mil
    Brewer and Amundsen ($2-4 mil?)

    Bulls would have Rose and Noah at $31.9 mil, adding Love brings them to $47.6 mil. Cap should be around $63.2 mil, so that's $15.6 mil available for Melo. Plus, there's Snell and Greg Smith, so maybe closer to $13 or $14 mil.

    It is doable if Love and Melo want to make it happen. The problem becomes keeping the band together because the Bulls will be in the luxury tax unless one of these stars is eventually traded away, or let go for nothing - or they sign for a bit less. IF they all agree to sign $15 mil deals, that would leave $17 mil+ cushion for reserves before the luxury tax in future years.

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    While that isn't going to happen I think you're on to something. Melo might be a better option over Love, at least these next few years. But is Melo a better option if you can trade for Love, while still keeping Boozer? If you trade for Love without including Boozer, you get your top 10-15 player, AND you still get to amnesty Boozer and clear that cap space to strengthen your roster specifically where it was weakened by those who departed in the Love trade. Amnesty Boozer and sign Melo, you get your superstar, but you're right back at the cap and remember you had to move a combo of Taj/Mitrocic/Picks to make room for Melo in the first place. S&T for Melo, and Boozer almost certainly is involved, as well as a similar combo of Taj/Mitrocic/Picks. Both scenarios result in lost talent with no way to replace it aside from limited FA signings. Compare this with gaining Love, losing Taj/Mitrocic/picks/Jimmy but having the millions left in Boozer's amnesty's wake to sign some solid proven talent.

  • I notice that some of the people saying "don't get Love" are the same ones who often say "this FO sucks." So apparently there are only 2-3 players in the NBA that can get the Bulls to the next level, but the FO stinks for not being able to get one of those 2-3 players??? The former is probably true but then the latter isn't. Haters gonna hate and whiners gonna whine, nothing else to it.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Its about playing style and team need. Is Love a great player? Yes, but doing lazy analytics and assuming players who have good stats in one system will go to your system with different playing style and team dynamics and put up the same stats is dumb. As is saying just getting any star player is a no brainer because its not if it is a bad fit hello Carlos Boozer!

    Carmelos stats are much easier to project to the Bulls system as his offensive role likely wouldn't change. Love on the other hand will be relient on whoever the PG or ball handler is to set him up for shots and will he be the guy the offense flows to still with a scoring PG? What happens if/when Rose is hurt will they still be able to get him open looks?

    Reason I say getting Love is a bad choice is not because he is a bad player but rather Carmelo who is an elite iso player fills a vastly larger need and thus offers much more value to the Bulls. We should be able to get quality stretch four play from Mirotic who offers a lot of the same qualities that you would get with Love at a significantly reduced price.

    If you want to hold on tight to your any star is a good get and GarPax's decisions cannot be questioned then go right ahead but I know I am right on this one.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Whatever. I have always maintained that winning a championship is really tough. If you want to hold onto the idea that it's easy except that Reinsdorf is cheap, then don't complain about getting Kevin Love.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    I didn't say Reinsdorf was cheap I do think that GarPax somewhat mismanaged their cap space by overpaying guys like Boozer and Deng whose impacts never justified their salaries but hindsight is 20/20. I understand what they were trying to do and there are definitely GMs that have made much worse choices (Or in Isaiah Thomas's case every decision he made was worse) but a really bad financial decision can cripple what you can do cap wise for years.

  • In reply to Chad:

    No doubt about any of that. You might be right about Love, too. But people rip the FO like they are owed a championship just because the team makes money when in fact, it's just really hard to do. In this case, even acquiring a top-10 player might not be enough.

    After thinking about it, I think ripping your team's FO and/or coaching is just part of being a fan. Fans of the Bulls, Bears, Cubs, Sox all do it, even Hawks fans after 2 Cups in 4 years think they're smarter than the FO and coach, at least at times.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Your last point is probably the most valid, the Bulls could/might get some version of Love's production from Mirotic, while Melo is something we can't find a replacement for. However, again, Melo is 30 and Love is 25. Also, I think that Melo/Rose poses bigger issues playing together than does Rose/Love.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Exactly, see my reply to Chad above

  • Kevin Love is 2010 Carlos Boozer with a 3 ball. Bulls should get Melo or stand pat and draft well.

  • In reply to muckfiami:

    Melo is definitely the missing piece to this bulls team. K Love is an excellent player but i agree with the comment that Love is Boozer from four years ago with a three point shot. Melo is the answer and why would he want to stay in New York??? Yes Phil is there but they don't have a good team or a coach. Kerr turned the Knicks job down for more than one reason... Melo more than likely is leaving and Golden State is a better team and closer to Kerrs home. Bulls FO better get the chap stick out and kiss melo ass to get him to be a bull.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Even in his wildest wet dream boozer never averaged 26 & 13, in fact his highest single season ppg is 21 accomplished only once(breaking 20 only one other time) and his highest average rpg is 11 accomplished only twice, and none of those occurred in the same seasons. Boozers first season as a Bulls produced 17 & 9, after posting 19 &11 the year before he became a Bull, while declining every year to this years awesome 13 & 8. Love is 25 heading into the prime of his career, not the bozo years of his career.

    On top of that you are going to downplay the fact that he is a three point threat which is basically becoming the biggest weapon in the game and something the Bulls have been nearly completely devoid of for years. He also shoots well over 80% from the free throw line, while actually getting there once in a while.

    But yea, other than that he's just boozer with a 3 point shot. I remember how everybody thought that boozer was a top 5-10 player in the NBA when we got him, he was definitely in everybodies discussion as the best power forward in the league, as evidenced by all the teams that tried to trade for him or sign him the year before the Bulls massively overpaid for him.

    We can honestly debate who is a better player and a better fit for the Bulls(Melo vs Love), but anyone who calls Kevin Love the equivalent of boozer as a Bull clearly hasn't watched a single Bulls game over the past 4 years.

    Finally, unless Love becomes a quadriplegic he can't help but try harder on D than the Hole ever did in his 4 years here. Finally, we can't ignore the fact that Melo is 30(maybe headed for his boozer years) and Love is only 25.

  • In reply to muckfiami:

    A. No he's not.

    B. If Carlos Boozer could shoot 40%+ from three for high volume the Bulls might have made the finals 4 years ago and he certainly would not be facing amnesty.

  • I just wonder if, seeing the writing on the wall, Minnesota engages in a draft day trade since they "require" a high lottery pick I'm assuming that would be in this year's "loaded" lottery not next years. The high lottery pick meaning what top 5-7? I don't think anyone regards this as a superstar laden draft. Deep in good talent, but even Wiggins, Parker, Embiid none are regarded as sure things as stars really. Surely beyond the top 3 someone would be willing to give up their pick for a Kevin Love.

    So seeing the Bulls have no such picks available, I don't see them as having a chance at Love. What assets are they going to trade to get a top 5-7 pick in this draft? Mirotic, both firsts, Taj? I doubt anything they have gets it done honestly outside of trading Noah..

    The Bulls are very likely not getting Kevin Love ESPN sources aka fantasy league story or not, and certainly not for Boozer's contract to make salaries "match."

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Actually, Mirotic would be a lottery pick if he were just entering the draft.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    The question is where would Mirotic be drafted in this draft. Saric is projected in the 6-10 range(I've actually seen him picked at 4) depending on his contract status in Europe.

    Mirotic is the older more developed player. Not sure which guy the experts are higher on right now. But Mirotic would almost certainly go in the 6-10 range also. He could be in that second group of guys(with Exum and Randle) after Parker, Wiggins and Embiid. So if you buy that he puts the Bulls in the game with anybody outside the top 3.

  • Chicago's front office has no imagination. So all of your ideas and mine don't mean anything. Chicago's FO is not interested in rocking their boat as long as the stadium is full. Love will be in NY, Boston or LA for certain.

  • fb_avatar

    Rubio and Mirotic together in the U.S. would make for big marketing dollars so that is not out of the question. Bulls front office is willing to rock the boat and have been loading up for such a time as now. If the front office dangles Gibson and Mirotic in Minnesota's face with the right pieces, they don't turn down that deal and Chicago would be in the driver's seat. No other team in the league has a better deal than that. Together, Gibson and Mirotic will give you KL numbers every night. Chicago could empty a few players from the bench and not have to give up any draft picks because if they can get the numbers to work, both teams get better fast! Again, Rubio and Mirotic mean national ratings and big big advertising packages, and Minnesota knows this!

  • In reply to Anthony Hinton:

    These are great thoughts, but I would just like to see the Bulls proactive and not waiting for things to happen. A successful FO's don't wait--they make things happen. I'd like the team to at least try and trade for one of the lottery picks of the top 14 teams. A trade with Utah for example which might take Butler and a draft pick--or even a trade with Phoenix for the 14th pick. With luck Chi could possibly get one of the top 3 picks. Just think what our possibilities for Kevin Love would be then. The team cannot trade the 16th and 19th picks away, they need those picks--but, even a trade with Dunleavy could get us in there somewhere and trading both Dunleavy and Butler would lower the Cap to enable us to also get Anthony--without losing Gibson. The FO has to be daring and have some vision of what a championship team would look like.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to penwit1:

    I just looked at some video (above) of Mirotic and no way I trade this guy, Gibson, other guys on the team, and draft picks for Anthony or Love. If Chicago can get him here for next season to come off the bench and learn the NBA game in a season, practicing and playing with Noah and Gibson, and having Thibs mentoring him will bring his game up to the level of Love in a season. Now follow this logic and tell me if you'd enjoy a team of this caliber. Bring in Shawn Livingston at the 2 and move Butler to the 3. Now the starting line up would be Rose, Livingston, Butler, Gibson, and Noah. Five solid defenders, three ball handlers, and floor spacing for days to make shot selection a whole lot better. Then you have a trustworthy bench by resigning Augustin to put on the floor with Snell, Dunleavy, Mirotic, and Smith. That gives the coach trust in a bench that will allow him to rest his starters like when he first came over. Use the 16th and 19th picks to grab the best available players and bring them along for a season while they learn the system. Keep Kirk and Fredette for insurance, which still leaves a spot for another player. Everybody is looking for some big splash that will empty the teams wallet to prove they want to win, when all they really need are a couple of pieces to plug the holes. Rose, Livingston, and Gibson can give you some serious points while Butler and Noah can give bonus points. Augustin, Snell, Dunleavy, Miritoc, and Smith can provide crazy offense against any bench in the NBA. That bench will be a 3 point explosion with 4 guys who can light it up from deep. And with Hinrich and Fredette standing by with an offense /defense switch at the coaches disposal to mix things up; the team will have more than enough to win more games and compete with the east and west elite. In your opinion, does this look like a winning team.

  • In reply to Anthony Hinton:

    I've been a big proponent of acquiring Livingston for a couple of years now. Given his injury history, not sure if you can count on him as a long term starter, but with his size I would like the Bulls to look into him as a free agent SG. Like him as a Bull better than Stephenson. More in the Aflalo category but you don't have to give up any assets to get him.

  • In reply to Anthony Hinton:

    Your argument might be valid, but if it is then it is a reason for the Bulls not to do the trade and just keep all their assets for themselves.

    It is also the strongest argument for going after Melo rather than Love.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BigWay:

    I thought they were stocking up for Anthony during the end of the regular season, but after seeing Mirotic highlights, I'd just go in the direction of Mirotic because Mello is 30 and expensive to a fault. Acquiring him or Love could cripple the Bulls ability to make moves over the next few years. Mirotic is 22 with so much room to improve each year over the next decade. Locking Mirotic in for a low-ball deal could prevent another Asik blunder where someone makes an offer the Bulls can't afford. If they go in the direction I mentioned or something close to it, most fans will complain until they win close to sixty games, and then start to warm up to the moves.

  • In reply to Anthony Hinton:

    The time to lock in Mitrocic for a low-end deal has passed. According to those in the know, he's looking for at least 9 million a year. Which I suppose is low-end if you know he'll be a very solid NBA player. And not one person on the planet knows that to be the case.

  • In reply to Chicagosportsguru:

    Where did you see this $9 million figure for Mirotic? Please provide the link.

    Highly doubtful Bulls pay that, also highly doubtful any team in Europe pays that. Since Bulls and Europe are Mirotic's only options, he is out-of-luck if he thinks he's getting $9 mil on his next contract, imo.

  • Good points. Although personally I'd at least work tirelessly to work out a trade prior to the draft. If I can get Love to agree to go to a team with a top 4 pick, that plus other assets thrown in is going to be worth more than anything you'll get once the season has started. Chicago isn't the only team that overvalues its beloved players. If for instance , the Cavs draft Wiggins and he has a hot start to the season putting up say 18-6-6; they'll be more prone to overvaluing him. Of course, at that point(in this scenario) trading Wiggins for Love is still an overwhelmingly good deal for Cleveland. But love is blind(no pun), and trading away a draft pick is a whole lot easier than trading away the guy you used that pick on once you've glimpsed what he COULD become at the NBA level. Add in the fact that if you trade prior to the draft, you get to make your own pick. Devil's advocate is whispering in my ear, 'but wait until the season and you get to see those picks play at the NBA level'. This stuff can make your head spin; I'll finish by saying that as time progresses, Kevin Love gains more control of the situation the closer we get to him leaving for nothing.

Leave a comment