Odds are if you've been following the NBA offseason at all, you've got an opinion on whether you'd rather the Bulls pursue free agent-to-be Carmelo Anthony or trade for Timberwolves' forward Kevin Love.
And according to the New York Daily News, Derrick Rose also has an opinion.
Mitch Lawrence wrote yesterday that, according to those in Love's camp, "Rose’s preference is for the Bulls to work out a deal as soon as possible for Minnesota’s All-Star forward because he sees Love as more of a team player than Anthony." The report also noted that "Rose has no plans to recruit Love, who is free next summer, either. But the Bulls already know whom he’d really prefer to play with in the future."
As Bulls Insider Aggrey Sam noted Saturday, it makes sense that Rose would prefer Love over Anthony, noting that "Rose and Love became acquainted from being in the same high school class and seeing each other at various AAU tournaments and summer camps, entering the league together and participating in the same offseason workouts in California."
It also makes sense from a basketball standpoint. Love, 25, is four years younger than Anthony and has five fewer seasons - as well as 19,000 fewer career minutes (regular season and playoffs) - of wear and tear on his body.
It would also seem that Love would be a better pairing with the former MVP, as Love does some of his best work out of pick-and-pop situations and doesn't need the ball in his hands, something Anthony requires to perform at his best offensively. Defensively, Love is one of the more efficient rebounders in the game, while Anthony has struggled at times from an effort standpoint, though his offensive dominance may unfairly mask some of the things well he does on the defensive end, including averaging 1.5 steals per game over the last five seasons.
At least publicly, it appears the Bulls are closer to landing and more actively pursuing Anthony than Love. Though the Bulls have the best assets available to make a trade for Love (Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler, Nikola Mirotic, two first-round draft picks and Carlos Boozer's expiring contract all are reportedly available), they have been far more active in their hunt for Anthony, with Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski writing last week that both the Bulls and Rockets were considered front runners for Anthony's services. A report Sunday noted that Anthony reportedly has been doing his homework on the Bulls and city of Chicago.
And while Rose's comments likely will be blown out or proportion, it's important to note that Rose, if the initial reports are true, didn't say anything about not wanting to play with Anthony. Anyone would love to have Anthony's 28 points per night in their lineup, if the money was right, especially on a team that ranked last in the NBA in scoring a year ago as the Bulls did.
Lawrence's report also mentioned that Anthony had not returned calls from Bulls center Joakim Noah, according to those close to the Knicks' All-Star. There are a number of reasons for why Anthony wouldn't have called Noah back yet, the most likely being that Anthony technically is not a free agent (he's expected to opt out of his deal Monday) and is still deciding his future. Once Anthony opts out and July 1 comes around - when teams may contact free agents - Anthony may continue the conversations he had with Noah during All-Star weekend about coming to the Windy City.