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Are Bulls really in the mix for Kevin Love?

The Bulls have reportedly upped their offer for Love. Are they truly serious players in these negotiations?

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

When it first came out Tuesday that the Bulls had "renewed interest" in Kevin Love, it did feel like a leverage play by the Wolves to try and get the Cavs (or even the Warriors) to up the ante. But that initial report has been followed up by several others that make it seem like the Bulls really are making a concerted effort to acquire Love.

First came the report from Chris Sheridan that said the Bulls were offering Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott. The deal was said to be "extremely intriguing" to the Wolves, and Sheridan's source said he thought Minnesota liked the Bulls' offer better than the Cavs' reported offer, which includes Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a future No. 1 pick. It of course must be noted that Mirotic and McDermott can't be moved for about a month because they just signed their new contracts. Wiggins hasn't signed yet, although he's expected to at some point this week.

Sheridan's reported offer was confirmed by Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN in Minnesota, although Wolfson believes a Cavs offer including Wiggins trumps any offer put forth by the Bulls. Wolfson also said the Wolves are really high on Gibson and McDermott, even more than Mirotic. Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press, another Minnesota guy, also believes the Wolves prefer the Cavs' trade package over the Bulls' offer.

From the Chicago side of things, both K.C. Johnson and Aggrey Sam downplayed the latest rumors, with K.C. calling Sheridan's reported offer "overstated." However, Joe Cowley sang a bit of a different tune, saying the Bulls made a "significant offer" for Love and that it's being "heavily considered."

Cowley's report says Gibson and McDermott, as well as other assets, are involved. According to Cowley, it's unclear if Mirotic is involved in the talks. The way Cowley tells it, the Wolves contacted the Bulls to tell them the Cavs had the best offer on the table, but they weren't ready to accept a deal just yet. The Bulls reportedly then upped their offer in an attempt to truly get back in the game.

What are we to make of all this? I honestly have no idea. I still feel like the Cavs are the favorites if Wiggins is involved, but the Bulls' reported offer isn't too shabby at all. Sean Deveney of Sporting News says other teams are trying to get in on a possible deal, so this thing could get pretty huge.

The timing of all this is pretty interesting considering the Bulls' offseason moves. The Bulls have seemingly brought in Pau Gasol to be a starter, but acquiring Love would push Gasol to the bench. And would the Bulls really deal Mirotic after committing to him long term? These things do make you question if the Bulls are seriously pursuing Love, but there is quite a bit of smoke out there saying they are doing just that. I personally think Love is worth the "trouble", so if they truly are making a major play, I applaud the effort.

And either way, the Bulls are in pretty good shape, so why not make a run at Love?