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Report: Bulls ‘biggest threat’ to Cavs in Kevin Love sweepstakes

Kevin LoveThe Minnesota Timberwolves have put themselves in a great position to get maximum value for Kevin Love. By being patient and not unloading Love the minute he said he wanted out, the T-Wolves have created a bidding war for their All-Star forward. In addition to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Chicago Bulls are also reportedly making a strong push to land Love.

Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of ESPN report that the Bulls are the Cavs “biggest threat” in the Love sweepstakes.

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

We can probably assume that the Cavs still have an advantage in that they have the most intriguing player to offer. Andrew Wiggins has the highest ceiling of any player that has been discussed as part of a Love package. Still, one report indicates that the T-Wolves are ready to pull the trigger on the Love-Wiggins deal but the Cavs are unwilling to part with future first-round picks.

If the Bulls are willing to offer first rounders in addition to Gibson and company, Minnesota might be inclined to blow off the Cavs. The Bulls missed out on Carmelo Anthony, so they could get antsy. In all likelihood, the Wolves have the Cavs exactly where they want them. They want Wiggins, and LeBron supposedly wants Love. Getting the Bulls involved can only drive up the price.

Bulls reach out to Dwyane Wade

Dwyane WadeThe impact of LeBron James leaving the Miami Heat for the Cleveland Cavaliers is already being felt.

Not only has LeBron left for Cleveland, but Chris Bosh may be on his way to Houston. And if that’s not enough, Dwyane Wade may have some options, too.

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the Chicago Bulls have reached out to Dwyane Wade to gauge his interest.

Wade is from Chicago. Recall that before James and Bosh signed on to join Wade in Miami in 2010, Wade visited with the Bulls as a free agent and said he gave them serious consideration.

The Bulls are currently waiting to hear back from Carmelo Anthony about whether he will sign with them or remain with the Knicks. They obviously feel that Wade is a good backup option to explore.

Report: Bulls may need Carmelo Anthony to take $16 million per year

Carmelo-Anthony-Knicks-DefenseThe Chicago Bulls might offer Carmelo Anthony the best opportunity to contend for an NBA championship. Having Anthony, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Derrick Rose in a starting lineup would be tough to beat. From the sound of it, the only chance the Bulls have of signing Anthony is if he buys into that theory. Why? They don’t have much money to offer.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Bulls spoke to Melo during their meeting with him on Tuesday about the possibility of a four-year deal worth roughly $16 million per season. The New York Knicks can offer Anthony roughly $130 million over five years while other teams can go to four years and $96 million. That means the Knicks can offer $26 million per season and other teams can offer $24 million.

In other words, Melo would likely need to play at a significantly discounted rate to sign with the Bulls. Unless he is in love with the team and the city, he probably won’t be willing to do that. There have also been rumors about a possible sign-and-trade involving Carlos Boozer that would allow Chicago to give Anthony more money, but Phil Jackson is reportedly opposed to the idea.

If the Houston Rockets trade Jeremy Lin, they can offer Anthony close to a max contract. Keep in mind that Carmelo is 30, so this will likely be his last big deal. Is he willing to take $8-$10 million less per season to play in Chicago? We highly doubt it.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Bulls using video boards to recruit Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo-Anthony-Bulls-videoboard

With the official NBA free agency period beginning on Tuesday, the Chicago Bulls are making it no secret that Carmelo Anthony is their top priority. Upon arriving in Chicago in his van that had police escorts in front and behind it, Anthony saw images of himself in a Bulls uniform plastered on and around the United Center.

ESPN Chicago’s Nick Friedell reported that ‘Melo received some scattered applause from fans who were anticipating his arrival outside the United Center. He politely thanked them as he walked into the building. Joakim Noah also showed up shortly after Anthony, presumably to play a role in Chicago’s pitch.

The Bulls obviously have a winning tradition and can easily argue that they are closer to being a championship-caliber team than the New York Knicks. Other teams are going to do the same stuff when Anthony comes to town, so I doubt the video boards will have much influence. The prospect of playing with Noah and Derrick Rose and under Tom Thibodeau is probably what will be most appealing to ‘Melo.

H/T Deadspin
Photo: Twitter/Steve Lippo

Joakim Noah reportedly recruiting Carmelo Anthony to Bulls

Carmelo AnthonyCarmelo Anthony has done nothing but insist he intends to remain with the New York Knicks if and when he opts out of his current contract at the end of the season. In fact, he even said he would take a pay cut on his new deal to help the team sign top talent in free agency. That isn’t enough to stop Joakim Noah from trying.

According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, a source said Noah was recruiting Anthony to the Chicago Bulls during All-Star weekend in New Orleans.

“I’m told that Joakim said to Melo, ‘Look, you can go to Los Angeles. But if you want to win a ring, if you want your legacy to be about winning, come to Chicago,’” Broussard reported. “Melo, I’m told, said, ‘Look, I’ve been watching you guys. I admire how hard you play. I admire how hungry you are. Oh, and by the way, my son’s favorite player – Derrick Rose.’

“It seems like it intrigued him.”

Broussard noted that Chicago would have to amnesty Carlos Boozer to offer ‘Melo a deal starting at $15 million per year, which is much less than the $22.4 million he is eligible to earn with a max contract. If they trade Mike Dunleavy and his $3 million salary they could offer Anthony around $18 million.

Does Anthony love New York so much that he is willing to take a pay cut to remain there, or was his point that he is willing to take less money anywhere to improve his chances of winning a championship? Assuming Rose comes back healthy, the Bulls look much closer to a championship team than the Knicks do. They certainly have the coaching advantage with Tom Thibodeau.

From an endorsement standpoint, Carmelo could earn just as much in Chicago as New York. The Knicks are 22-40 and are likely going to miss the playoffs. The Bulls remain fourth in the Eastern Conference despite not having their best player. I think we all know what Jim Boeheim would tell Anthony to do.

Report: Bulls looking to trade Luol Deng, will amnesty Carlos Boozer

Luol Deng Carlos BoozerDerrick Rose may soon become one unhappy Chicago Bull.

Remember last month we told you that Rose was concerned that the Chicago Bulls might go through a rebuilding period? Well it sounds like that process is going to happen.

The New York Daily News’ Mitch Lawrence reported on Saturday that the Bulls are looking to trade Luol Deng and will likely amnesty Carlos Boozer.

[The Bulls will] definitely be looking to deal Luol Deng before the Feb. 20 trading deadline. Deng is a free agent this summer and the Bulls don’t want to pay him anything close to top dollar. The second part of their house-cleaning: They intend on using their amnesty move this coming summer to part ways with Carlos Boozer.

There have been numerous trade rumors concerning Deng, so this should not come as a surprise. Deng is a very fine player who has consistently put up strong shooting and rebounding numbers since entering the league in 2004, so we have little doubt they’ll be able to find a trade partner for him.

Boozer is set to earn $16.8 million next season, so it sounds like the Bulls just don’t feel like he’s worth paying the money to, either. Boozer has been dealing with a knee injury lately.

The Bulls’ plan to rebuild rather than pay big money to these veterans next season (or beyond) makes sense. Back-to-back knee injuries to Rose have completely changed their plan longterm. If they don’t know if Rose will play like an MVP — or be able to play at all — why keep an expensive surrounding cast around him when they can acquire other assets instead?

Chest bump to Eye on Basketball

Man pops out of Bulls mascot costume, proposes to Bulls dancer (Video)

Bulls-mascot-proposalBeing a Chicago Bulls dancer has its perks. You get to watch a lot of basketball, make a little money, stay in shape, and get close to some of the best athletes in the world. Some other benefits include the possibility of your boyfriend popping out of a mascot costume and proposing to you.

During Chicago’s game against the Miami Heat, Bulls mascot Benny the Bull gathered around with the “Luvabulls” dancers as a person in an inflatable Bulls mascot suit approached the group. As that popular “I think I wanna marry you” song played over the stadium speakers, a man jumped out of the suit and got down on one knee. She said yes.

Sporting event proposals are pretty common, but give this guy credit for finding a way to put a unique spin on it. He also deserves credit for not getting shut down in front of an arena full of people. Unfortunately, that’s something we have seen before.

Video via SI.com’s Point Forward