Report: Kevin Love will test free agency next season

Report: Kevin Love will test free agency next season
May 17, 2014, 10:45 pm
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Mark Strotman

The Bulls are sure to go hard after New York Knicks impending free agent Carmelo Anthony this summer, but if they strike out on the Knicks' sharpshooter there could be a Plan B to pursue in 2015.

According to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News, Love, who will be a free agent after next season, has told the Timberwolves that if he is not traded this coming year he will leave Minnesota, effectively departing without the Timberwolves receiving anything in return.

"Kevin Love’s people reiterated to the Timberwolves this past week that they had better trade him or else he’ll leave via free agency when his contract is up after next season," Lawrence reports. "With Love looking to exit, there’s your No. 1 reason the T-wolves have not been able to find a head coach to take over for Rick Adelman. Love wants to play for the Lakers but he’s also open to coming to the Knicks."

The Lakers and Knicks both have been thought of as the main potential landing spots for Love, but if the Bulls use the Amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer this offseason and hold tight on signing a max player this summer, it could open up even more options in 2015. Along with Love, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo is set to become a free agent this summer.

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The Timberwolves and Bulls were once though to be potential trade partners with each other in a deal involving Love (and Luol Deng), but nothing ever came of such rumors. If Love decides to leave via free agency and the Bulls decide they could make a run at him in a year, they may not have to break the bank or put all their baskets in one egg with Anthony (or any other potential free agent) they may want to pursue.

This past season Love was exceptional, averaging 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and shooting 46 percent from the field on better than 18 attempts per game. He's bordering on elite, and at only 25 years old his best basketball is in front of him. And though the Bulls will soon have to pay Joakim Noah and are locked into a long-term deal with Taj Gibson, the prospect of acquiring a talent as good as Love would almost certainly attract the Chicago front office.