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Latest News / Jul 22, 2014 / 3:00 pm

Report: Bulls Renew Efforts For Kevin Love

Kevin Love, Taj Gibson

Kevin Love, Taj Gibson (Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports)

After courting Carmelo Anthony only to lose him to the extra year New York could offer, the Chicago Bulls have returned to the fold and are in the mix for Kevin Love, ESPN reports. Even though the Cavs still lead the pack — especially if they include Andrew Wiggins in their offer — the Bulls offer an interesting package of players, rather than draft picks.

There’s a feeling from people around the league, Minnesota GM/coach Flip Saunders has no desire to rebuild, so the young players/picks Cleveland is offering up might not be as enticing as, say, Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler.

That’s purely speculation on our part, but ESPN’s Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst report the Bulls have pushed ahead of Golden State in the drive to acquire the 25-year-old Love, with a package involving the runner-up to the 2014 Six Man of the Year (Gibson) and the prototype of the 3&D wing (Butler):

Although the full extent of the Bulls’ offer wasn’t immediately known, it is believed Minnesota would seek a package from Chicago featuring forward Taj Gibson and defensive ace Jimmy Butler in addition to other assets. The Bulls shelved their Love interest while trying to sign Carmelo Anthony away from the New York Knicks but, according to sources, have re-emerged as contenders.

The Bulls also have first-round pick Doug McDermott who just got done winning the MVP award in Las Vegas summer league play. McBuckets and Taj, especially, would fit great with the current T-Wolves incarnation, reports Darren Wolfson of ESPN1500.com:

Then again, Wolfson adds that the ‘Wolves and Cavs are in contact every day as they seek to hash out a trade:

Stein and Windhorst assert that Cleveland is still in the lead to acquire Love, and like their ESPN co-worker, Chris Broussard, reported last week, they believe the package Cleveland is offering includes No. 1 picks, Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, another first round pick and one other asset to make the deal work under NBA rules — that other asset could be the future first rounders Cleveland is balking at giving up. Both the delay in signing Wiggins, and the previously reported fact he is close to signing, which would make any trade involving the 2014 No. 1 pick untenable until after 30 days have passed, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be included in a deal now, with both teams waiting the requisite month before making it official. In fact, if Cleveland signs Wiggins it might even mean the Wiggins/Bennett/picks swap for Love becomes more of a reality:

The Cavs’ delay in signing Wiggins is not related to their pursuit of Love, sources say, but they ultimately would have to have Wiggins under contract to facilitate such a trade. The packages Cleveland has been offering to Minnesota, sources say, have included Wiggins’ projected salary-cap number of $5.5 million, which can be factored into the trade only if he’s under contract.

Stein and Windhorst add that the Dubs have fallen behind Cleveland and Chicago because they refuse to part with Klay Thompson in order to facilitate the trade. So far, David Lee and Harrison Barnes are part of the package, but the ‘Wolves won’t budge if Klay isn’t involved.

For Love, both Chicago and now Cleveland are enviable locales for him to land since both will be competing to come out of a diluted Eastern Conference. Regardless of LeBron James’ two-year deal, Love would sign a long-term extension with Cleveland or Chicago if they make a deal to acquire him. In fact, we’d surmise that a guarantee Love re-signs will be a part of any such package for him.

Where does Love go when all is said and done?

Follow Spencer on Twitter at @SpencerTyrel.

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