The Chicago Bulls are getting back in the Kevin Love sweepstakes, according to ESPN's Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst. Love has been primarily pursed by the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors as he enters the final year of his contract with the Timberwolves before he can exercise an opt-out clause, but Minnesota has been deliberate in its decision to part with star power forward.
Chicago's proposal isn't known yet, but it's believed to center on power forward Taj Gibson and wing Jimmy Butler. The Bulls already boast an improved front court after adding Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic in free agency. If Mirotic was to be included in the Love trade, the Bulls would have to wait 30 days from the time he signed his contract.
Love and Cleveland
Love and Cleveland
ESPN's Jackie MacMullan reported the Bulls made an offer for Love in June, but their pursuit of the forward was put on hold as the team focused on Carmelo Anthony in free agency. Anthony decided to re-sign with the New York Knicks for five years, so Chicago settled for Gasol, Mirotic, Kirk Hinrich and Aaron Brooks in the offseason.
While Chicago can offer an appealing package of players for Love, the Cavs are viewed as the front-runners. Cleveland is reportedly willing to include 2014 No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins and 2013 No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett in addition to draft picks in an offer for Love, but Minnesota hasn't bit on it yet. Now with Wiggins reportedly signing his rookie deal, that too will be on hold for at least 30 days.
The Warriors seemed like the most likely destination for Love before the draft, and before LeBron James' decision to rejoin the Cavs. Golden State swayed back and forth on a willingness to include shooting guard Klay Thompson in the trade, and reportedly pulled him off the table days before the draft.
Love averaged 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds per game last season while posting the third highest PER in the NBA. He'll turn 26 years old in September.