Love for McDermott? Bulls rookie waits out trade rumors
BY JOE COWLEY Staff Reporter July 29, 2014 6:32PM
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Updated: July 29, 2014 9:35PM
LAS VEGAS — Bulls rookie Doug McDermott admitted Tuesday that he was close to settling on a place in Chicago.
And, yes, he’s more likely renting than buying.
The Kevin Love-to-the-Bulls trade rumors have quieted to an almost complete silence, but a source said the team was still in pursuit, and that meant the package of Taj Gibson, McDermott and ‘‘other assets’’ was still on the table.
The idea that newly signed forward Pau Gasol was guaranteed a starting spot in the lineup also was dismissed, which means the questions about how coach Tom Thibodeau would use Gasol, Love and Joakim Noah at the same time are moot.
But while the Bulls have kept their latest offer on the table for almost a week now, the Cleveland Cavaliers are doing everything they can to ensure that they stay in the lead for Love by trying to get a third team involved to meet the Minnesota Timberwolves’ trade demands.
As for McDermott, he was well aware of the noise out there about Love. He also was aware that his name is attached to it.
‘‘I didn’t really pay attention to it much,’’ McDermott said. ‘‘I think rumors happen a lot. There have been a lot this offseason, so you’ve just got to stay patient.
‘‘You can’t really read into that stuff. I’m just focused on what I can do to become better.’’
That’s also why he admitted to staying away from asking his new organization about it.
‘‘To be honest, I get asked about it; I don’t really ask anyone,’’ McDermott said. ‘‘I try to stay off Twitter, and a lot of people ask me or text me through my friends. But I just ignore it. Whatever happens, happens.’’
It isn’t like McDermott has a lot of time to check the rumor mill these days anyway.
Playing for the USA Select Team this week, his Tuesday consisted mostly of worrying about Indiana Pacers star Paul George, whom he guarded during the open scrimmage.
‘‘It’s been great,’’ McDermott said of the experience. ‘‘Just going against some of the best guys in the world.
‘‘It’s definitely a challenge, but it can only help a guy like me, who’s just getting his NBA career started.’’
It remains to be seen where that career is going to start.