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Kevin Love trade rumors: Bulls reportedly no longer in contention

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

There was a brief re-frenzy-ing last week when it came to a Kevin Love pursuit. It cooled since some main principles involved (Doug McDermott from the Bulls, Andrew Wiggins from the Cavs) signed their rookie contracts and thus couldn't be traded for 30 days, but a new report came out late Wednesday by's Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst:

As has been the case for a week, the Cavaliers remain the front-runners to acquire Love in a trade co-headlined by No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins. However, sources this week have described the Cavs as the only team in contention for Love.

Those sources say the Chicago Bulls have become increasingly pessimistic about their chances of trumping Cleveland's offer, while the Golden State Warriors remained unwilling to bend on their longstanding refusal to surrender Klay Thompson in a deal for Love.

Last week, reported that the Bulls had re-emerged as a serious suitor for Love, despite the fact they had a few more trade assets to offer Minnesota before last month's NBA draft. But sources said this week that Chicago essentially has conceded to the Cavs, knowing it can't furnish a player with both Wiggins' superstar potential and his favorable rookie-scale contract.

I think that all along these rumors were received with less anticipation as the Carmelo Anthony ones from a month ago. As stated above, the Bulls had a better chance before the draft, and this seemed like an effort just to remind the Wolves that they can ask for a lot from the Cavaliers. It's looking like the Bulls biggest rival for the Conference title will get the star, but hopefully can be purged as much in the process of doing so.

This is still ultimately really bad news for the Bulls, though it was expected. About as expected as this:

I do appreciate the Bulls effort in re-pursuing Love, as a reported offer of Gibson, Mirotic, McDermott is no joke, though it still ultimately won't match what Cleveland can provide.

But you have to wonder if a better strategy would've been to pursue Love more aggressively pre-draft as a Plan A over their actual first choice: a long-shot hope that Carmelo Anthony would forgo a massive sum of money.

Anthony didn't come, and Kevin Love is going to our best contender. There's definitely reason 'to like what we have', but it's looking like they'll have a taller task than expected.