The original plan was to sit here and rip the Kirk Hinrich signing and all of the stupidity that comes along with it. But instead of talking about Reinsdorf’s prodigal son coming back to the Bulls to brick 17 foot jumpers off the front rim, I’m instead turning my attention to the latest disgruntled superstar that might desire a new home.
With Dwight Howard on the verge of ending up on a gutted roster in Brooklyn, another domino will fall, and another superstar will have chosen anywhere but Chicago to pursue championships. But even though the Bulls are looked at as a death sentence instead of a major market power, that won’t stop me from trying to start rumors about surrounding Derrick Rose with players that actually have another gear when it matters most.
Hey, if he’s too proud or stubborn to recruit players to play with him, I might as well try, right?
Kevin Love is preparing to win a gold medal with Team USA and opened up to Yahoo! Sports about his growing frustration with David Kahn’s slimy personality. Not really, but he is letting it be known that he isn’t down with repeated trips to the lottery. It’s easy to come up with the conclusion that Love is using his leverage after he signed only a 4 year extension and not the max 5 year deal.
“My patience is not high,” Love told Yahoo! Sports. “Would yours be, especially when I’m a big proponent of greatness surrounding itself with greatness? All these [Team USA] guys seem to have great players around them.
“It’s tough seeing all these guys that are young and older who have all played in the playoffs. When they start talking about that, I have nothing to talk about. If I don’t make the playoffs next year I don’t know what will happen.”
Does he feel slighted? Probably, but this is more about Love being around players that have combined for 7 NBA titles as the Olympic prep continues. He sees how Kevin Durant is surrounded by Russell Westbrook, James Harden & Serge Ibaka. He sees how Deron Williams now has Joe Johnson & most likely Dwight Howard. And, of course, he sees LeBron having Dwyane Wade & Chris Bosh on the reigning champs.
As much as I like Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams, are the T’Wolves ever going to be an elite team with Kahn running the show and drafting point guards at every opportunity? At best, they are a 4-5 seed in the west and a first round out next spring. Love isn’t a fool, he knows the Thunder, Lakers Spurs & Clippers are all better than his squad. Maybe he’s coming out with his “better improve the roster” power play as the first step in getting traded sooner rather than later.
And where would he go? The immediate thought is Love could wind up in L.A. with the Lakers, but aren’t they going to lock themselves into an Andrew Bynum max extension after the failed attempts to land Howard? They can’t possibly want to have a sulking 3-point jacking Bynum all season, and is Pau Gasol enough to offer with no draft picks after the Steve Nash trade? No, it’s not. Kahn will make this out about him and force Love to the Eastern conference so he won’t see him but twice a year.
So why not the Bulls? Depending on when Love could asked to be moved, the Bulls will have the means to make a solid offer. Yes, perhaps sitting on their assets will eventually pay off. If it’s a year from now, they could offer Luol Deng’s expiring deal and a signed and traded Taj Gibson (if he’s not re-signed sooner, of course). And if they want Joakim Noah, fine. I’m cool with including Noah because it seems they’ll match the Omer Asik offer sheet.
The Bulls also have picks (including the Bobcats pick unprotected in ’16) if necessary, and Boozer could easily be amnestied to make room for a real power forward. Finding another superstar (Love would be phenomenal to watch in the pick & pop game with Rose) to pair with Rose has been a miserable experience despite the new CBA still favoring big market teams.
The Bulls can play for 2014 free agency all they want, but the time to strike could come sooner than then. Will they have the balls to make a big trade if it presents itself? Would Love be open to coming to Chicago (he did once say Rose is the best player he’s ever played with)? And will Love still want out if the T’Wolves make the playoffs? Or, is Love following the Chris Paul & Howard plan of trying to get traded early so he can quickly transition to a new city?
There’s a lot of ifs involved, but Stand Pat Pax & the safe and conservative approach is doing nothing but making the Bulls look like amateurs. The new CBA was designed to improve competitive balance, but all it’s doing is forcing stars & their agents to demand trades to big markets instead of waiting for a handcuffed free agency route. Another superstar could become available in the near future, and the Bulls better have a plan to acquire him. If not, we’ll know they’re too comfortable being a niche playoff team that generates nothing but shit loads of money and phony championship aspirations.