There has been speculation about the Bulls pursuing Carmelo Anthony this summer. However, recent news out of Minnesota is that Kevin Love has finally had enough and now is publicly stating his dissatisfaction. Love is currently locked into a contract with Minnesota through the 2015-16 season and the last year of the contract is under a player option. So Love has the right to for-go his last season and become a unrestricted free agent the summer of 2015. With the Bulls trade of Loul Deng to Cleveland and rumored amnesty of Carlos Boozer they will have more cap flexibility to pursue Love if he were available this summer. However, those moves alone will not be enough to create the needed space, and most likely the organization would have to part ways with 6th man Taj Gibson if they want to be serious players in free agency.
The same can be said for Carmelo as he has a player option from the Knicks this summer and could become a UFA as well. However, with the Knicks recent reunion with Phil Jackson they are headed in a new direction and thus far Anthony seems on board with the Zen Master’s rebuilding of Gotham. The Love situation which is now unofficially being called “Lovesick” by media sources is a parody to the 2012 divorce of Dwight Howard from another small market team the Orlando Magic. The ‘Dwightmare’ ended with Howard’s refusal to sign with Orlando and he was traded to the Lakers costing L.A. players and future draft selections just to watch Dwight walk away after one year and sign with the Houston Rockets.
The Bulls best move is to keep their cap flexibility available through the 2015 summer so they can pursue Love as a free agent, but just like with Howard, Love may also be traded temporally to another city and possibly even Los Angeles. The speculation of Love’s desire to be a Laker has been over-hyped by media and recently Love commented that his own Timberwolves team was in better shape than the Lakers at this point. This does not mean the Bulls will not get involved in trade talks with Minnesota as well. The Bulls have assets in young players like Nikola Mirotic of the euro leagues’ Real Madrid, draft selections and large expiring salaries like Carlos Boozer’s.
Although the hype around Nikola Mirotic may have you believe he is the second coming of Christ or at least a poor man’s Dirk Nowitzki. The fact remains that Love and Anthony are legit NBA stars with Hall of Fame numbers. So the young Spaniard has big shoes to fill if the Bulls pass on trading his rights in a deal to get either of these to big name NBA players. Personally, I would like to see them go after Love, and I do feel Mirotic will be a good player, however, not as good as either Love or Anthony. Furthermore, the Timberwolves have been a D-league team for foreign transfer players and Mirotic would be the nicest car in their garage.
The addition of Love to the Bulls line-up would place them among tops in the eastern conference, and Love’s style of play is a perfect fit to the players the Bulls have all ready in tow. His shooting from the perimeter will help to open the court up for Rose to attack the basket and allow Noah to battle for rebounds. Let’s not forget that Love is also as good if not a better rebounder and passer as Noah, and combining the two would drive non-rebounding teams (Miami) crazy. So I have bought my ticket for the Love train and hope it comes to Chicago by 2015. Go Bulls.