Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love, two big time available players rumored to be interested in the Chicago Bulls. I for one hope the Bulls find a way to get one of these players into uniform. Do you want to know why?
I am sick of defense.
There I said it. I am tired of being the fan that gets crapped on when their team can’t score 70 points in an elimination game. I hate saying, “but we are a defensive team!” I don’t care about defense anymore…
In the offseason, Gar Forman must seek what the Bulls need, offense. Forget about defense, we have Taj, Butler, and Noah. Offense is what Chicago needs. The focus so far has been on Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love. But what people need to learn is that they can’t have both. With what Carmelo is looking for, n0 way. But they can have one.
Carmelo has been on the Bulls radar for the past year now, it is just a matter of whether he chooses cash or winning. He is known for his ability to score from basically anywhere on the court. Anthony would give Chicago that offensive edge that they need. Defensively, he can be a liability, but the Bulls have enough defenders to fill the void he leaves on the defensive end of the court. Kevin Love, another defensive liability, is still a huge offensive powerhouse. Like Carmelo, his offensive versatility ranges from post moves to three point shots and he is facing free agency after the 2014-15 season. As I stated in my piece about Love, if Flip Saunders decides to trade him or face the inevitable loss to free agency, Kevin is going either way. And he may choose to turn to a big market situation like the Bulls. The media has been all over Love’s flirtiness with the Celtics lately, but that does not mean the Bulls are crossed off his list.
Carmelo made 21 million dollars this season, and would be looking for a lot more cash. Love would be making nearly 16 million next season but he would demand over 20 through free agency. Since the Bulls simply do not have enough money to satisfy both players, they must chose one. I decided to break this down through a few sets of metrics and other analytics.
1) Advanced statistics
In basic stats, both are elite players. Both are in top 5 for scoring and are great rebounders at their positions. But then again, basic statistics aren’t everything. Just like in the Russell vs. Chamberlain argument; Wilt averaged more points and rebounds than Bill, but Bill was still the better basketball player due to his passing and teamwork. Wilt was more of a stat chaser while Russell was a win chaser…more on that for another time. Advanced metrics did not exist in the 60’s and 70’s…now they do and they tell a whole lot about the kind of player someone is. In plenty of advanced statistics, Love surpasses Anthony. He has more win shares than Anthony, a better WARP, and is simply more efficient both on offense and defense.
2) Bulls need more depth at power forward
Now before you rant on how Carmelo can play the 4, and extremely well, he would fit best on the Bulls as a SF. With Carlos Boozer 99.999999999 percent out of Illinois next season, Taj Gibson will have to become the starter, unless Love joins the team. Chicago has it’s eyes on Nikola Mirotic over in Europe, but having Mirotic as a backup might not suffice. Keeping Taj at 6th man while moving Love to the lineup would not only give Mirotic time to develop, it would also leave Gibson as a energizer on the bench.
3) Love is a versatile scorer who fits perfectly in the system
Nothing like a shooting big man. Love would play the post with Joakim and play around the perimeter with Butler. He could drive and dish or run the pick and roll. Whatever offensive scheme you can think of, Love will probably be able to cover it. He can move the ball well for a PF and spaces the floor unlike any other big man with his elite 3 point shooting. Defenses don’t know whether to let him shoot or give him room to drive, which is why he is so poisonous to opposing defenses. I am not saying Carmelo isn’t an offensive menace, he is one of the best in NBA history, but Love presents a presence unlike any other power forward.
Don’t get me wrong, if it was released today that Carmelo was joining the Bulls, I would run out of my house to pick up a jersey. I would be one of the happiest fans to ever root for Chi-town. But deep down I truly believe Love is the focus Forman needs to dive into.