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Bulls make ‘significant offer’ for Kevin Love

MinnesotTimberwolves forward KevLove goes up for shot over Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer during fourth quarter an NBA basketball game

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love goes up for a shot over Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis, Wednesday, April 9, 2014. The Bulls won 102-87. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

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Updated: July 23, 2014 10:13PM



So much for any lingering Carmelo Anthony hangover.

Less than 10 days since they missed out on the Knicks scoring machine and went the Pau Gasol-Nikola Mirotic route, the Bulls were at it again on Wednesday, taking another serious run at power forward Kevin Love.

According to a Timberwolves source, the Bulls made a “significant offer’’ Wednesday morning for the three-time All-Star, and it was an offer that was considered to be the latest leader in the clubhouse.

The source said that the two headlining names in the package were Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott, “as well as a few other assets.’’

A report from Sheridanhoops.com said that Nikola Mirotic was also involved, but the source could not confirm that.

The Bulls continued being mum on any trade talks.

If McDermott or Mirotic are involved, the deal would have to wait 30 days until after each signed their rookie contracts, per NBA rules. Mirotic signed last week; McDermott signed his deal on Tuesday.

McDermott is obviously a huge piece in the deal, coming off a Summer League in which he averaged 18 points, and was named All-Summer League first team. McDermott scored 31 points in a July 13 game against Denver, and followed that up with a 20-point, six-assist, five-rebound performance against Minnesota.

Reports on Tuesday indicated that the Bulls were back in the picture on Love, with Gibson and Jimmy Butler headlining the deal on the their side. If it were just a leak from the Timberwolves, as first believed, it proved to be a smart one, as the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Bulls have since reacted to it aggressively.

The Cavaliers, who made the largest splash of the offseason in signing LeBron James, had been the leader in the Love sweepstakes since James’ arrival, and spent the last 24 hours moving more pieces, as well as trying to get a third team involved in the deal for Love.

The Bulls, who in June initially offered a deal that included Gibson and Tony Snell, are well aware that their window on a championship push is open, especially with Joakim Noah turning 30 years old this season, and Gasol 34.

Adding Love would accomplish two significant things for the Bulls. It gives them a legitimate second scoring option behind Derrick Rose and it squashes the idea of the Cavs having their own Big Three with James, Love and Kyrie Irving.

According to the source, the Bulls have used back channels with Love to figure out his contractual desires after the season when he could become a free agent. The Bulls believe that he would commit to a long-term deal with them.

The Timberwolves feel as if they need to compete in the Western Conference now, rather than an entire rebuilding project that the Cavaliers’ package of second-year player Anthony Bennett and rookie Andrew Wiggins, as well as future picks, would entail.

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @suntimes_hoops



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