Now that it appears to be apparent that Minnesota Timberwolves’ power forward Kevin Love will be moving on at some point in the next year, the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns are all expected to pursue Love.
Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders considers the Bulls to be the favorite.
I’ve said before I think Chicago represents the best confluence of Love-attraction (he’d want to stay there because they could win) and assets to entice Minnesota. I’m not sure why he’d want to go to Boston because it’s hard to imagine how they build a good team around him in short order. At 26, he’s in his prime and needs to start winning now.
Golden State is another option, but as Love I’d rather be in the weaker conference and with (probably) the better coach. That said, the Bulls don’t have the greatest history when it comes to attracting marquee players from other teams.
If I were Minnesota, I would listen to trade offers, but I’m not dumping him unless there is a fantastic offer that trumps whatever chance I think I would have of keeping him by being good next year. Superstars are so rare that even if there’s a 25% chance of keeping him (and it could be less than that) I hold onto him. And at the very least, I create the appearance I”m willing to hold onto him to create the appearance of “internal leverage”, i.e. that I need to be wowed to trade him away.
Of course, the Bulls are also considered by many as the favorites to land New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony.
Love averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game last season while shooting 45.7% from the field, 37.6% from three and 82.1% from the charity stripe.