The Chicago Bulls dropped a downer of a game to the Indiana Pacers on Monday night. Still is without Nikola Vucevic and Alex Caruso, the team defense took a hit. One glaring hole continues to be something that needs to be addressed, and that's the depth down low. Aside from Tony Bradley, the Bulls are without meaningful depth at the 4 and 5 spots. In fact, ever since Vucevic's injury, the hole has become even more glaring than it was prior to the start of the season.
Insert an intriguing idea here. According to a "rumor" (whether true or not), there is some interest from the Bulls on one Kevin Love. Love returned to Cleveland this season as a bench piece, as the team did not expect him to be ready to play nor be able to contribute much. Rumblings indicate a buyout is possible, making the idea of bringing Kevin Love to the Bulls that much more appealing.
However, is there a real fit for Love with the Bulls? In principle, it seems like it is, but there are some things to consider.
Kevin Love has been an elite player over the course of his NBA career. Since entering the league in 2008, Love has won an NBA title, earned five All-Star five appearances, and reached All-NBA status twice. The UCLA product has put together an NBA career worth discussing in a Hall of Fame conversation.
For his career, Love averages 17.9 PPG, 11.0 RPG, and 2.4 APG over his 13-plus NBA seasons. Although his numbers are down since 2019-20, the Cleveland Cavalier is still averaging 10.5 PPG, 7.9 RPG, and 2.0 APG in 10 games off the bench this season as of today. Added to a team that is much better than Cleveland like the Bulls, those figures might even improve off the bench in the right situation.
The Fit in Chicago
The Bulls need help down low. Even with a healthy Vucevic, the Bulls still need another big besides Tony Bradley off the bench. Marko Simonovic certainly has a future as a player down low for the Bulls in the future, but for the time being, the team needs additional depth.
Adding Love to the Bulls rotation would fill the largest hole on the team. He can come off the bench and provide meaningful minutes in the event of injury (see Vucevic's COVID-19 absence) and can be a complementary piece when the Bulls are at full health. Either way, the Love addition would strengthen the Bulls' depth and position them to be title contenders at the end of the season.
Will It Happen?
Will the Cavaliers buy out Kevin Love? That remains to be seen. However, the NBA has seen similar moves over the years when a player on a bad team costs too much money. In this case, Love is nothing more than a bench piece in Cleveland. That said, he can become an important depth piece for a contender if bought out.
There is no timetable for this idea. However, the fit feels really good with Love in Chicago. If the five-time All-Star becomes a free agent, the Bulls need to be one of the first teams at the table. His services will go far for the 2021-22 Bulls en route to a deep playoff run.