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Report: Bulls making push to trade for Kevin Love

Jul 22, 2014, 2:04 PM EDT

Kevin Love

Kevin Love is firmly on the trading block in Minnesota, thanks to his stated unwillingness to re-sign with the Timberwolves once his contract is up at the conclusion of next season.

The team would obviously like to get as much in return for Love as possible, but can only realistically trade with teams where Love would be willing to commit to staying long term.

[MORE: Cavs still in mix for Kevin Love]

Golden State got close, but wouldn’t part with Klay Thompson, and the Cavaliers, now with LeBron James in place, remain a possibility. But the Bulls are making a late push to see if they can somehow end up winners in the Kevin Love sweepstakes.

From Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of

The Cleveland Cavaliers are firmly in the lead to acquire Kevin Love but the Chicago Bulls are making a renewed push to get into the trade mix for the All-Star power forward, according to sources close to the process. …

Sources say that the Bulls, though, have this re-entered the race and would appear to be the biggest threat to the Cavs, thanks largely to the Golden State Warriors’ resolute unwillingness to add longtime Wolves target Klay Thompson in a deal.

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 a contender.

Interesting choice for Minnesota here, although Gibson and Butler — while both being excellent rotation players — aren’t exactly going to drive ticket sales anytime soon.

The Timberwolves would rather not start over with a complete rebuild if they don’t have to, which is why the preferred deal was the one with Golden State that would potentially have returned guys like Thompson and David Lee, both of whom could immediately help produce wins in the upcoming season.

[MORE: Coach K would trade Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love with ‘not one second of hesitancy‘]

But if starting from scratch is the only option, Minnesota could do far worse than to land Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a future first round pick — which is why the Cavaliers, at this point, remain the leaders in the clubhouse to get a deal done to retain Love’s services.

  1. csbanter - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    Maybe i’m missing something but this seems to be the bronze medal out of all the proposed trades. Cleveland with Wiggins and Bennett, Warriors Lee, Barnes, Bulls Gibson and Butler. If I’m Flip Saunders i’m not even entertaining Chicago.

    • calkinsrob - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      youd rather have wiggins and bennett than Gibson and Butler?

      • csbanter - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        It’s not even about Bennett who cares about him. Yes I’d rather have Wiggins than Gibson and Butler.

      • calkinsrob - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:18 PM

        Idk I think it depends on where your teams at. for the wolves sure Id see why taking the chance on wiggins would be better. But if Im the Gm of an above average team, id rather have taj and butler (two quality nba starters, and butler is still young) by far. who knows what wiggins is going to become.

      • bucrightoff - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:38 PM

        As this trade will only involve the Wolves seeing as they are the only ones with Kevin Love, who cares what the GM of “an above average team” wants when the team involved is clearly a rebuilding team?

        And frankly there isn’t a GM alive who would rather have Butler and Gibson over Wiggins unless that team is under a mandate to win it all next year. Wiggins potential is higher than Butler and Gibson combined.

      • 00maltliquor - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:49 PM

        @ cal


        Don’t for that CLE package also contains next years first rounder. Who cares if its in the 20’s, it’s still a pick in the first round.

      • bigmeechy74 - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        of course

      • calkinsrob - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:58 PM

        I would think the bulls pick would include draft picks as well.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:17 PM


        not talking about your overall point

        I am talking about when you said a late first round pick is still a first round pick.

        “Late first round (21-30) only 6% of picks become stars, and less than half even make it to role player caliber stats.”

        So, late first round picks RARELY become stars, less than 10% of the time.

        Also, LESS than half the time do they even become role player caliber.

        LATE first round picks aren’t all that great and 2nd round picks rarely work out.

        Sure, there are exceptions but they are just that, exceptions. Just like thinking one will land a star in the late part of the first round.

    • jeffkx - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      This is Flip throwing the kitchen sink trying to get the Cavs to include Wiggins or GSW to include Klay Thompson..nothing to see here..

      • illogic87 - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        wiggins and thompson are already on the table, numbnuts…#getaclue

    • nilla619 - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      I agree and Idc what reports say I don’t buy for a second GS has offered Klay in that trade or I’d be furious if I was a Wolves fan Flip didn’t take that

    • chitownlolo - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      My Bulls also have two 1st round picks next year and potentially two more in 2016. That’s the reason why they may consider it. Gibson and Butler are our two best defenders after Noah and this will CERTAINLY test Thibodaux’s ability to put a good defensive squad out there. Maybe we are trying a different approach. Phoenix Suns style.

    • jobber33 - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:36 PM

      Wiggins is unproven rookie, he could come in and be a bust like other top picks have done. Just because he might be the best that came out doesn’t make him a great NBA player yet.

      • 00maltliquor - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:59 PM

        That’s just a chance you’ve GOT to take. Especially if you’re a franchise like Minnesota. Remember, Love could be gone for nothing if no trade goes down. He’s out irregaurdless, they are lucky to even be in any position to get anything back at all. All Love has to do is say he won’t re sign with team X and he kills any leverage.

      • mickdamill - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:46 PM

        Unproven but still chosen first overall.

    • conradtwin1 - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:46 PM

      Once the Cavs sign Wiggins they can’t trade him for at least 30 days so thats why the Bulls are trying to do this trade now but I agree it will take more then Gibson and Butler probably Mirotic and a 1st round pick too?

      • bringin1234 - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        wait wait…. so you think it would take Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler, Mirotic and a first to get it done? Im guessing you don’t know much about the players you just named because that’s a ton for Love.

        The Bulls could put together a package of picks and players…

        but even as a Bulls fan if the Bulls said Taj Butler and a 1st or even 2 and the Cavs said Wiggins and Bennett and a pick, which the Bulls have the right to swap with if its not in the lottery. Id have to take wiggins and Bennett even though I think Bennett is a bust

      • purple4life2 - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:16 PM

        Bring…you can’t possibly believe Taj (29 years old) and Butler is enough for Love. No way that deal ever happens. Wolves wouldn’t do any deal with Chicago w/o picks and/or combo with Mirotic. Second, taj and butler aren’t changing jack in mn win/loss differential.

        So if you can’t move forward with wins, you take star potential in wiggins + AB + 1st waaaaaay over anything centered those dudes. There is literally zero possibility Chicago called Flip w/those 2 names after the CLE offer above surfaced. Flip would just hang up.

        Def more too it. Go ahead and balk at that price. Then good luck winning the division w/Irving, LBJ and Love.

      • bhunter1995 - Jul 23, 2014 at 9:24 AM

        @purple4life – You, along with a lot of other people on this comment board are falling in love with the stats and ignoring the intangible aspects of the game. Is KLove an offensive force? Yeah he is but he is atrocious on defense, something that both Taj and Jimmy are exceptional at. On a team driven by team play and defense I’ll take Butler and Taj over Love only because Taj and Jimmy are exceptional defenders which is an aspect of the game that is undervalued even by self proclaimed BBall heads. Sure Love will get you 25 a night but how much is he giving up to the opposing PF? Taj and Jimmy may not get 20-25 ppg a game but they will get your team a healthy14-15 a night all while locking up an opposing player. Dont undervalue these guys Taj and Jimmy for Love is actually a fair deal.

    • borderline1988 - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:14 PM

      I’m pretty impressed with the offers that Minnesota is getting; usually the rule is that you always lose out when trading away a superstar. But if I’m Minnesota, I’d feeling like I’m winning a trade if it involves Wiggins.

      The Timberwolves know they cannot win with their current roster anyways, so to trade off their best player who’s leaving anyways for the best prospect in the NBA since Durant – I dont know how you dont do that deal. Wiggins is a potential game-changer, a guy who can catapault a team into championship contention 4 years down the road, just like Lebron and Durant did for their respective teams.

      • illogic87 - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:18 PM

        Wolves dont have to trade him, and then hes free to choose whatever team he wants and Minnesota keeps the 15 million. Thats why they are getting good offers.

    • lazegowizfan95 - Jul 22, 2014 at 6:07 PM

      Chi has a better chance offering Gasol actually naw they might as well withdraw there trade offer lol no hope compared to those other offers.

  2. scottolstad - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    As a Wolves fan, I like this deal much more than Klay/Lee. Taj Gibson would work well next to Pek (David Lee and Pek both can’t defend the rim). Defense would improve much more than with the Golden State offer.

    The Wiggins trade is probably better for the long-term future of the franchise. Ricky-Butler-Brewer-Gibson-Pek is a good starting five, but not enough to make the playoffs in the wild wild west.

    • casualcommenter - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      Agreed. The Bulls offer is definitely better than the Warriors’ offer given the relative strengths and weaknesses of Minnesota’s roster, which is probably why the Warriors have been replaced by the Bulls as the main competitor to the Cavs. David Lee is a poor man’s version of Love, and Barnes has decent potential but hasn’t really found a consistent role as an NBA player yet.
      By contrast, Gibson gives the team an excellent individual defender and help defender, and Butler likewise helps cover opposing wings.

      That starting 5 you mention actually has really good defensive potential, but I’d worry about the scoring punch of that group since only Pek is a consistent scorer.
      I’d replace Brewer with Butler at the 3 and have Kevin Martin start at the 2 to improve floor spacing.

  3. casualcommenter - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    Flip Saunders of the Timberwolves has reportedly 2 priorities.
    Get as much value in exchange for Love, which is obvious, but also to win as many games as possible in 2014-2015. In other words, he doesn’t want to tank this year just because they’re losing Love.

    That’s why this bid by Chicago is interesting. Andrew Wiggins’ ceiling is very high, but given his performance in college and the summer league, he doesn’t strike me as a player who will dominate as a rookie. By contrast, Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler can help a team win games right now with their defense.

    If I were Flip, I’d prioritize the long-term by taking Wiggins, who has the most upside of any player involved in these trade discussions. However, Flip apparently feels pressure to win now, so that makes Gibson plus Butler a competitive offer. Both of those guys could dramatically improve Minnesota’s defense this year, while Wiggins is a guy most people expect to become an elite defender but only in a year or 2 after he’s mastered NBA defensive rotations. He also needs a couple of years to work on his ball handling and jump shooting.

  4. jrh54824 - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    If the Bulls made this trade then they would have no wing players and Pau Gasol would be on the bench for more than half the game.

    • casualcommenter - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      The Bulls after this trade:

      PG Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich, Aaron Brooks
      SG Mike Dunleavy
      SF Tony Snell, Doug McDermott
      PF Kevin Love, Nikola Mirotic
      C Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol

      The Bulls sometimes use Hinrich at shooting guard too. That’s a very good starting 5, but while the bench is stocked with good scorers, it lacks quality defenders other than Hinrich.

      • 00maltliquor - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:04 PM

        If you’re gonna start Snell and Dunleavy together then you got to swap positions.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:13 PM

        Pau off the bench? That’s going to be one unhappy Pau. Or as my Hawaiian bros might say, “Pau is pau with da kine Bulls, brah.”

        He’ll end up sounding like Chris Kaman from last year, “If I knew this is how it was going to be I would’ve never come.”

      • bringin1234 - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:15 PM

        Snell is a 2 not a 3

      • illogic87 - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:19 PM

        That team sucks and is full of whiny pansies

  5. cameltoehoe - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    I’d rather have a migraine & a fist F### than trade for all of the above. GSW remains the best offer, despite the common folk’s reluctant views on West Coast team’s talent.

    • casualcommenter - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      Uh, there’s no bias against the talent on “West Coast Teams.”

      The LA Lakers have regularly been an either good or great team for most of the past 40 years, and the Clippers and Trailblazers this year each had multiple All-Stars.

      The problem is that David Lee is a 31 year old offense-only player who lacks 3-point range, and Harrison Barnes hasn’t developed as quickly as people hoped, not that they play on the West Coast.

    • blueintown - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:29 PM

      Depends. How big is the fist?

  6. money2long - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    This is an example of the wolves showing other teams that if they don’t want to see love go anywhere besides their team then give us what we want.

  7. loubearkane - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Kick Love out of the NBA already

  8. malek773 - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    If I’m the Bulls idk if I give up both Butler and Gibson. Not saying they are both better than Love combined, so read on before you hit me with the thumbs down.

    After Noah, Gibson and Butler are the best defenders on the team. Butler plays the teams best scorer and does great work on them. Taj is full of energy, plays hard, and leaves everything out there. Losing both of them combined with whatever else Chicago has to give up (draft picks, other players, etc) actually hurts the team in my oponion. If they could swing a package centered around Taj but keeping Jimmy then I’d do it. But losing that much defense and depth for a guy not known for bringing any defense doesn’t make sens. It also doesn’t make sense to try and get Love now after you signed Gasol.

    My bet is this Chicago trying to get Cleveland to give up more than they have to.

    • paleihe - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:53 PM

      I totally agree. It’s one step forward and two steps back.

    • bougin89 - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:58 PM

      I agree. Also then you have a log jam of bigs. No way you’re not playing Noah 35-36 minutes per game and then Love is going to play the same or maybe even a little more. Your left giving Gasol roughly 20-22 minutes per game.

      That’s not the idea he had when he signed with Chicago…

      • ernwop64 - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:05 PM

        You can play all 3 power forwards at the same time.

      • bougin89 - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:27 PM

        There isn’t a rule saying you can’t play all 3 at the same time. Is that what you’re getting at?

      • paleihe - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:26 PM

        @ernwop64: Love already sucks defensively, imagine him trying to guard someone like Lebron/Melo/P George/KD, Chandler Parsons, K Leonard…it’s just not happening. He’s way too slow.

        Playing three PFs is ridiculous. You don’t see it done because it’s not a great strategy.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:24 PM

        just like all teams. 48 min game. 1 center and 2 forwards equals 144 min’s of combined playing time in a regulation game (3 * 48).

        Let’s throw some numbers out there.

        Noah 36 min’s a game
        Pau 36 min’s a game
        Love 36 min’s a game
        Taj 36 min’s a game

        Hey, that totals 144 min’s, which coincidentally is how many min’s they have to allocate EACH game.

        I don’t know if they’ll get Love, most likely they won’t. I don’t know who they’ll have left if they do get him.

        I do know they’ll have 144 min’s to allocate to bigs, less any min’s they play small ball and go with 3 guards.

      • bougin89 - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:45 PM


        You think Kevin Love playing small forward would be a good thing? It isn’t.

        3 guys will be splitting 96 minutes but the kicker is if you play Noah and Love 36 minutes each that leaves only 24 minutes left and that has to be 24 minutes when Noah and Love are NOT on the floor together. So if they start the first 5 minutes of the game together, that goes down to 19 minutes for Pau…

      • malek773 - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:39 PM

        @sportsfan18 you cant play any of those guys at the 3. Maybe taj but you lose a lot in terms offense as a 3.

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:15 PM

      No thumbs down from me, malek

      I agree with you wholeheartedly. Thanks for saying it so I don’t have to type it.

    • antistratfordian - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:19 PM

      Where has defense and depth taken the Bulls? Nowhere. They desperately need more offense and probably more star power. Lacking offense in the playoffs is just as problematic as lacking defense. You have to find the right balance.

      If the Bulls get to the finals as currently constructed, I don’t believe they’ll be able to score enough points to keep up with most of the Western representatives.

      • paleihe - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:28 PM

        Don’t Rose, Gasol, and the outside shooting of McDermott help with the scoring? I’d think so.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        Rose and McDermott are question marks. Gasol? Maybe in his prime.

      • malek773 - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:52 PM

        Rose alone adds scoring you didnt have last year. Our pg position averaged 13pts a game last year. If Rose gets 20 we are already plus 7. Add the boost in scoring from Pau, McDermott, Snell being improved, and Mirotic and the bulls offense by default is better. The averaged 93.7pts a game last year. If you dont think all the additions, we have this year is a plus of around 7 your crazy. Adding 7pts to our toltal from last year gets us to an average of about 100. With that plus our defense we’d be able to beat any team in the leauge hands dow.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 22, 2014 at 5:42 PM

        Even when they had Rose fully healthy, that wasn’t enough. Rose isn’t efficient enough as a scorer to really boost that side of the ball.

        The rookies… don’t get your hopes up.

        Pau is okay when he’s okay. Sometimes he’s not okay though. The Bulls offense is still an issue – this is why they’re looking at Love.

  9. paleihe - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    This is a dumb trade for both teams.

    Chicago: Loses defensive team identity. Makes Gasol signing pointless.
    Wolves: Still not a playoff team in the West. The potential development of the past two #1 picks is a much better long-term option.

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:16 PM


  10. loubearkane - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    No one from Chicago has spoken to Flip , this is a leak from Minnesota to get the best offer.

    • tomasekradek - Jul 23, 2014 at 7:11 AM

      Or leak from Bulls. You know, the more Cleveland is giving up, the better chance for Chi to be no. 1 in the east.

      • 1historian - Jul 23, 2014 at 8:38 AM

        About 65% of this game is being played behind the scenes. If/when there is a deal it will be a surprise. These writers HAVE to say something, so I would say that they make up a good bit of what we are reading.

  11. mutasian - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    gasol, love and noah?

  12. godelleb - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    This doesn’t make any sense at all for Chicago. They just acquired Pao. They just added Mirotic. What ‘s the point of adding Love after those two come in? Unless Pao or Mirotic is included in the deal for Love there isn’t enough time to be shared by their big men. This would have made sense prior to adding Pao.

  13. cruzan80 - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    This makes absolutely no sense for either team.

    If this reported trade goes down, neither team would have improved its roster. The Bulls would get dramatically worse defensively & their bench (which was a problem last season) will be once again a problem whereas currently their maybe just a role player away from a complete team.

    The additions of Gibson & Butler makes the Wolves better on the defensive end but would obviously kill their offensive production. They would be no closer to the playoffs than they were a year ago.

    The best deal for the Wolves is still with the Cavs as long as it includes Wiggins.

  14. pondersucks07 - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    when it is all said and done. Kevin Love will be playing for the Los Angles Lakers in two years. Its Love home town where he live, Its Love’s favorite team growing up as a kid. Its where he played at college UCLA and its Kobe Bryant that Love works out with in the off season, Only way this don’t happen if he is traded to a team that has a legit shot at a championship(then he might sign a long term contract) and they win or get close in his last year before becoming a FA. Love will not sign a long term contract after the trade, But will see how he feels in the new system and how far they get with such team.

    • billstraehl - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      Problem is, the Lakers aren’t the same team he grew up with. Wrong Buss running things, Kobe is soon to be gone, and the Clippers are taking over LA. A LOT more exciting to be playing with LeBron. If you were ever going to play in Cleveland, now’s the time to do it. I expect it’s pretty glamorous compared to Minnesota. Live in LA in the off season.

  15. billstraehl - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    If I’m Kevin Love and WANT to go to Cleveland, then I’m hoping to be traded somewhere else. Stay one year, now I’m unrestricted, and can go to Cleveland WITH Wiggins and Bennet.

  16. rosloe62 - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    Flip is just trying to up Cleveland’s anti. From the Bull’s standpoint, Love is not worth giving up on two of your best defenders and a pick or two. If McBuckets proves he can play in the NBA, there is no need for Love.

  17. ProBasketballPundit - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    I hope they’re sending Tom Thibodeau too because he won’t stand for this. Sending two defensive aces for Kevin Love is maniacal.

  18. seasickcecil - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    Cavs Wolves talks heating up?

  19. getlow81 - Jul 22, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    Sounds like MIN trying to get Cleveland and Golden State to up the ante a bit….but..

    If I’m the Bulls though, I CAN’T MAKE THIS DEAL.

    If you get Love, you can’t give up Taj, Jimmy, and maybe even Mirotic AND 1st round picks. Their depth at SG is so porous and their Defense would be hurt much more with that loss. McDermott is not quick enough to play SG in the NBA, he’ll get torched on D. If Jimmy ends up taking the next step of progression this season, shoots a bit better from the floor, and Taj continues to give them great minutes, and defensive, off the bench while Gasol starts and you still have Mirotic. Thats just an overall better team.

    The Bulls were already one of the best rebounding teams in the league before this offseason, they don’t need Love for that, and that’s a primary strength of his, along with 3pt shooting. He’d also add another major max contract to the roster, I don’t see Reinsdorf paying luxury tax year in and out.

    Even if the Bulls pull off the trade for Love, they’re still 100% reliant on D-Rose being healthy through the postseason and returning to MVP form. I’d leave the team as-is, see how well this team gels and how good their younger guys develop and progress.

    Chemistry is an underrated intangible trait that GM’s seem to overlook. (Trading away Granger and bringing in Bynum to Indiana sound familiar?)

  20. pooskay - Jul 22, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    CHI is not trading for Love. If they did, why on earth would they have Noah, Gasol, and Love on the same team? One of those three would have to come off the bench. Doesn’t make sense.

  21. mungman69 - Jul 22, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    Wake me up when there is a deal

    • 22yearsagotoday - Jul 22, 2014 at 6:44 PM

      Hope you are related to Rumpelstiltskin!

  22. seasickcecil - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    Utah’s trading John Lucas, Malcolm Thomas and Erik Murphy to Cleveland for Carrick Felix, future 2nd and $1M, sources tell Yahoo.

  23. campcouch - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    So Taj Gibsop, once the lynchpin in all discussions is once again free to be traded. I mean he’s so good that the Bulls signed Gasol and kept Taj on the bench still. If they do pull this off, who sits?

  24. uscoach - Jul 22, 2014 at 9:32 PM

    Love to Cleveland – bank on it. Lebron is going to make sure of it.

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