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Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose Prefers Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kevin Love Over New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony

June 23rd, 2014 at 9:30 AM
By Matt Agne

For all the talk of where Carmelo Anthony could end up should he opt-out of his New York Knicks contract it's widely believed that he'll either re-sign with the Knicks or join the Chicago Bulls. The belief is Anthony can join forces with Rose and Joakim Noah to form a Big Three in Chicago. However, Rose prefers Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love over Anthony.

'adidas miCoach Derrick Rose' photo (c) 2010, adifansnet - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The idea of New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony joining forces with the Chicago Bulls seems like a good idea on paper. They have a great defensive coach in Tom Thibodeau. They have Joakim Noah to play defense and clean up the boards. They also have a top talent point guard in Derrick Rose as long as he can stay healthy and on the court. What they're missing is offense and Anthony can solve that problem.

However, there is a problem. Both Rose and Anthony are ball dominant players. Both are nearly unstoppable with the ball but unless Chicago is going to be allowed to play with two balls on the court there could be a problem. Neither will be very effective if the other is holding the ball throughout the entire shot clock.

Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News reports that Rose would prefer Chicago to sign Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love over inking Anthony in free agency.

Noah will be disappointed if it turns out that Anthony uses the Bulls merely to get Dolan to up the Knicks’ offer. But one of his teammates won’t be crushed. Derrick Rose hasn’t called Anthony once and isn’t expected to do any recruiting when the Bulls make their run at the Knicks’ top scorer in free agency.

According to sources close to Kevin Love, 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. Chicago is in the mix with Golden State for Love, with Boston and Denver considered long shots. If it makes any difference to Melo, 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.

Quite frankly, Rose is right. Kevin Love is simply a better fit in Chicago as long as Rose is healthy. The Minnesota Timberwolves never have to run plays for Love. He's a much better defender than Anthony, he spreads the floor with his deep range and he's one of the elite rebounders in the game today. It doesn't hurt that the two have known each other since being teenagers either.

'Kevin Love' photo (c) 2011, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Not only would Love not interfere with what Rose does best but he'd create a dynamic rebounding duo with Noah. That being said, if Rose's health will continue to be in question Anthony is the wiser choice.

Chicago can already rebound and defend. Getting better at that and increasing their outside threat is a good thing but without Rose the Bulls lacked a true offensive threat. Love is very talented but he's not the offensive player Anthony is.

That being said, it's easy to see why Rose and Noah would differ in opinion. Rose is a ball dominant offensive threat and the unquestioned leader of the Bulls. Injury-prone or not, he's not ready to take a back seat to anybody.

Noah, on the other hand, has known Anthony since they were young playing AAU basketball together. Not only are they friends, Noah also knows the Bulls have lacked that leader and offensive threat on the court during Rose's absence. He also knows that outside of the three-point shot, he and Love do much of the same thing. 

Noah doesn't want to see his rebounding numbers go down and would like to add an elite scorer to the already defensively strong Chicago squad. Both have very good points. However, Rose is probably right on this one. 

The fact is, the only was Chicago is going to win a championship is with Rose healthy and on the court. With Rose on the court, Love is the better choice. He allows Rose to play the way he's comfortable, gives Chicago a second scoring option and an outside threat to spread the floor and only strengthens the Bulls defensive and rebounding prowess.

Anthony would not only threaten Rose's ball dominance but he'd also challenge him for being the top star in town. That could cause a lot of friction. Rose has seen Anthony take the Knicks over from Amare Stoudemire. He's also seen the two struggle to play together due to their similarities. Rose and Anthony have different similarities than Anthony and Stoudemire do but they might have similar problems meshing. That's not something Rose has to worry about with Love.

'Carmelo Anthony' photo (c) 2013, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Tags: Basketball, Chicago Bulls, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, New York, New York Knicks

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