RE-Evaluating Minnesota trade offers for Love; Chicago interested now?


Reportedly, the Chicago Bulls are trying to put together a package to acquire Minnesota star Kevin Love. (Photo by theinscribemag.com)

The Chicago Bulls are back in the race for Kevin Love according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. The Bulls are trying to put together a package to acquire the three-time All-Star power forward from the Minnesota Timberwolves.The more I think about the different trade offers teams have “proposed” to Minnesota, the more mixed my emotions become.

Let’s take a look at Golden State’s offer: Klay Thompson, David Lee and Harrison Barnes, and possibly a future first-round pick for Love. I like Thompson, but he is reportedly seeking a max contract in the near future. He isn’t a “max” player. I like what he can do, in terms of shooting the ball, and I think he would be a great fit with Ricky Rubio, a pass-first point guard, coming off Nikola Pekovic-screens and knocking down shots. Lee is a productive power forward, but has a bad contract. He owed $30.5 million over the next two seasons, and could be seeking a somewhat-similar-but-reduced contract after the 2016 season. I think Barnes is the key to the trade. He has shown signs of becoming a solid scorer at the NBA level, and his defense isn’t that bad either. I think if he were to play an expanded role on a team, he would show that he is worth around $8-10 million per year in the future.

I have shifted around my thoughts  about the Cleveland Cavaliers reported “trade offer” of Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and a future first-round pick, or two. If I’m Flip Saunders, head coach and President of Basketball Operations of the T’Wolves, I’m asking for every piece that Cleveland has. It isn’t crazy for Saunders to ask Cleveland for this: Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Dion Waiters, two future first-round picks, and KYRIE IRVING. The Cavaliers previous “offer” doesn’t trump Golden State’s; this one does, though. In return, Minnesota would send Love, Kevin Martin, and J.J. Barea to Cleveland. That would be a “blockbuster” trade, and would put both teams in a good place for “now” and the future.

And this one just broke a little while ago. The Bulls have ramped up their efforts to acquire Love and pair him with Derrick Rose, who has taken almost a two-year hiatus from basketball to rehabilitate the knee he injured in the 2012 playoffs. After missing out on Carmelo Anthony, who chose to re-sign with the New York Knicks, the Bulls have re-energized its efforts to acquire Love. Chicago would have to pay a hefty price for the Minnesota star. Taj Gibson, Tony Snell, Jimmy Butler, foreign star Nikola Mirotic, and possibly another player have been reported to be involved. Gibson would give Minnesota solid post and pick-and-roll defense, something Minnesota has lacked since Kevin Garnett was traded. Butler would give Minnesota solid perimeter defense and, if he is able to improve his ability to score, reliable offense. Mirotic is a rookie, but he was the best overseas player in Europe last season, and he can shoot. Snell lit it up during the Las Vegas Summer League, even though he struggled finding his shooting touch last season. But most of the Bulls roster did without Rose.

The Bulls possible “offer” provides more immediate help than either Golden State’s or Cleveland’s. But does Minnesota want immediate help or does it want semi-immediate help mixed with possible future stars?

Minnesota has to be careful, though, because it has been down this path before when they traded Garnett away to Boston in the summer of 2007. Minnesota received Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes, and Sebastian Telfair in return. Since then, Minnesota has struggled and hasn’t made the playoffs since 2004.

Wiggins is the biggest question mark because nobody knows if he will turn out to be the guy who averages 22-7-5-2-1 (points-rebounds-assists-steals-blocks) in three years or the next Trevor Ariza. No offense to Ariza, he is a nice player. His shot is not good and he may never turn into a great offensive player. He might just be a really good defensive player with a limited offensive game, like Ariza.

Athleticism is a hard thing to bank-on. Minnesota knows what it’s getting from Golden State: a great shooter, productive big man, and a young perimeter player who has shown flashes of being really good. With Cleveland, it’s two men-of-mystery, especially with Bennett being so bad last season. Chicago is offering a lot, but no “game-changers”.

I think Minnesota knows what it wants. As a fan, I’m glad management is taking their time and doing their homework to make sure they get the best value for their best player.

Minnesota doesn’t want a repeat of 2007, again.

It’s only a matter of time.

What do you think? Feel free to leave your opinion in the Comment Section!

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