A new team has entered the Kevin Love Sweepstakes, as the Minnesota Timberwolves continue to shop their best player. The Chicago Bulls are now looking to make a trade for the All-Star.
ESPN reported Chicago has joined the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors as potential destinations for the 25-year-old. The Bulls are now looking to add Love, after their failed attempt to sign Carmelo Anthony.
It appears to be a foregone conclusion Love will be traded in the near future. The three-time All-Star will be a free agent next summer and has indicated he won’t re-sign with the Timberwolves. After the Cavs re-signed LeBron James and it was reported that they’d be willing to trade both Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, Cleveland appeared to be the favorites to land Love.
While Love may ultimately end up with the Cavs, the team could have some real competition in their quest to acquire another superstar.
What Can Chicago Offer Minnesota?
The two main pieces of any deal for Love would be Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler. While neither player has proven to be an All-Star, both could combine to make an attractive offer for Minnesota.
Last year, Gibson was one of the best bench players in the NBA, averaging 13 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. The power forward is coming off the best season of his five-year-career. At just 24 Butler is one of the most promising guards in the league. In addition to averaging 13.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per contest, Butler is a premier defender, finishing fourth overall with 1.9 steals per game.
Additional assets would be included in a potential deal. Newly signed Nikola Mirotic could be traded, as well as future draft picks.
Does Chicago Have a Real Chance to Get Love?
It’s possible the Timberwolves are just using the Bulls to put pressure on both the Warriors and Cavaliers to increase their offers. Minnesota has been asking Golden State for Klay Thompson in a potential deal, but the Warriors are reportedly unwilling to part with the shooting guard. The organization could also be looking to get more out of Cleveland, who might be intent on acquiring Love, now that James has been signed.
Chicago might not have the best chance of getting Love, but it is likely real players for the big man if it is willing to trade Gibson and Butler. Both players could help keep Minnesota competitive next year, as well as improve its future.
Who are the Favorites to Acquire Love?
Despite Chicago’s recently inclusion in the trade discussions, Cleveland remains the most likely landing spot for the All-Star. The Cavs can offer the Timberwolves the last two No.1 overall draft picks, including Wiggins, who has the highest ceiling of any player that’s been mentioned in recent trade rumors.
As long as Golden State fails to give into Minnesota’s demands, Chicago will be the second most likely option. ESPN said the Cavaliers are confident they’ll complete a trade with the Timberwolves, but the Bulls have become the biggest threat to their pursuit of Love.