When I wrote about how I thought the Bulls could make a play for Kevin Love a couple of days ago, I just assumed that most Bulls fans would be in favor of acquiring the All-Star power forward.
As it turns out, they’re not.
If the comments at the end of the post are any indication, a majority of Bulls fans would like to keep the roster as is -- at least in terms of not giving up multiple assets to acquire Love. They believe that having Pau Gasol, Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic at power forward (and center when Joakim Noah is not in the game) is a better option than Love and Gasol -- especially since the Bulls also would retain Doug McDermott.
I understand the thinking. Love isn’t regarded as much of a defender and his addition might not make the Bulls markedly better (or better at all) next season.
But depending on what I’d have to give up, I would make the trade for the simple reason that adding Love would likely make the Bulls title contenders for at least the next five years.
At 26, Love still is early in his career and he would join Derrick Rose and Noah to form an All-Star trio that could play together for quite a while.
Gibson is a solid defender/rebounder and Mirotic could develop into a valuable stretch four, but both are role players. Love is a big-time talent. Remember, this is a guy who averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists last season. He can score in the post, behind the three-point line and every place in between.
As for him not being a good defender, I think that’s not accurate. I think he’s a better defender than he gets credit for and there’s no reason he can’t improve under the guidance of Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.
So I guess the only remaining question is what would I be willing to give up for Love? (Isn’t that a question for the ages?)
Let’s say, a package of Gibson, McDermott, Mirotic and a first-round draft pick, or maybe even two first-rounders. That’s not a bad deal considering the Bulls are not giving up a starter (although Gibson certainly is as valuable as a starter) and they’re getting an All-Star.
The deal also doesn’t gut the bench. I’d consider starting Jimmy Butler and Mike Dunleavy with Love, Noah and Rose and bringing Gasol off the bench as a sixth man. Gasol is 34 and limiting his minutes could keep him healthier. Aaron Brooks and Tony Snell would be other quality options off the bench.
Down the stretch, I’d go to a big lineup with Love, Gasol and Noah on the frontline. Few teams could match the size and strength of that unit.
I like the Bulls’ roster the way it is now, but I don’t see how you pass up a player like Love if you can acquire him at the right price.
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In case you forgot how good he is, here are some highlights of Kevin Love in action:
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