Nov 2, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson (11) high fives power forward David Lee (10) after scoring a three point basket against the Sacramento Kings during the second quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Bulls have entered the Kevin Love sweepstakes, but it is still the Golden State Warriors offering the best return on investment.
According to Chris Sheridan of Sheridan Hoops, the Chicago Bulls reportedly offered power forward Taj Gibson, rookie swingman Doug McDermott and International phenom Nikola Mirotic for the highly pursued Kevin Love. That, truthfully, gives the Bulls the weakest offer of the three teams in the running for Love’s services.
Golden State already dangled an offer of Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes and David Lee. All three are quality NBA starters and very proven. Initially, reports said Thompson was off-limits, but the Warriors eventually made him available. Barnes would likely also include the addition of Draymond Green if he were the choice of the Wolves. But still, all three players available are starters; and even Green started in the playoffs.
None of that can be said of the Bulls trio, save perhaps Gibson who has served quality minutes a starter for the Bulls. Gibson started 70 games as a rookie under coach Vinny Del Negro, but has come off the bench every season since for Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau.
Apr 29, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson (22) dunks the ball against the Washington Wizards during the second quarter in game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Per-36, Gibson posts 16.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, while also blocking 1.7 shots at a very generously listed 6’9”. McDermott is entirely unproven, save an impressive summer league stint. And Mirotic falls into the same camp; he could either be the next Hedo Turkoglu, Dirk Nowitzki…or even, Nikoloz Tskitishvili. There’s no good way to know for sure. European talent seems to transfer to the NBA almost arbitrarily.
Klay Thompson has established himself as a sharpshooter and would certainly start in Minnesota. Similarly, many know Barnes is capable of assuming a far greater role in an offense when given the opportunity.
The Warriors had been extremely reluctant to part with the North Carolina product, essentially hanging up on the Orlando Magic when offered Arron Afflalo. David Lee has been an All-Star twice and is a 20/10 stalwart. His defense is questionable, and the Wolves would lack rim protection with Nikola Pekovic at the 5-spot.
Still, with Ricky Rubio, and the aforementioned, the Timberwolves would remain very competitive in the Western Conference, perhaps improving under that scenario.
The other option is dealing with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and taking a shot at obtaining Andrew Wiggins and last year’s No. 1 pick as well, Anthony Bennett. Bennett has not displayed immense potential last seasons, but his supporters cite his preseason injuries which limited his progress by allowing him to report out of shape.
Jun 27, 2014; Independence, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers first round pick Andrew Wiggins (21) is introduced by head coach David Blatt (left) and general manager David Griffin at Cleveland Clinic Courts. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Wiggins, meanwhile, could be the next megastar, and given his athleticism it seems a foregone conclusion he is going to be at least a very solid pro. The Cavaliers are in a luxurious position, given that losing out on Love and retaining Wiggins is hardly a blow to the team’s title chances.
And so, those are the three offers for Love. The Bulls are offering a lot of uncertainty; Golden State proven scorers and commodities; and the Cleveland Cavs the wildcard of two youngsters who could eventually help Minnesota rebuild. It doesn’t seem like a very tough decision to make, but many will cite the benefit of having a potential superstar like Wiggins.
That camp of opinion believes that it is necessary to have a superstar to win NBA titles. Given that only the 2003-04 Pistons were able to win without an elite superstar, there is weight to that claim. That would favor the proposition of obtaining the wild card in Wiggins, who is the only thought to have that type of potential.
Even so, Chicago’s late entry into this sweepstakes is likely to be unfruitful. The Wolves already have sat on the Timberwolves offer, and the Bulls do not have any major draft picks to offer in the chase.