The Chicago Bulls have reportedly thrust themselves back into the discussion for the Minnesota Timberwolves‘ Kevin Love, but the rumored trade proposal is very uncharacteristic of the Bulls based on recent history of the team.
The Bulls have been a team that has been extremely hesitant to let go of any of their valuable assets, so it comes as a surprise that they would be willing to part ways with one of their core pieces in Taj Gibson, first-round pick Doug McDermott and prized European Nikola Mirotic.
In recent memory, the Bulls refused to part ways with “their guys” when it came to Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Carmelo Anthony and LaMarcus Aldridge, so it seems odd that they would now be willing to trade away pieces that they have desperately coveted in McDermott and Mirotic.
Gibson is highly regarded within the organization and among Bulls fans, and he nearly won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award last season after averaging 13.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. He is also still considered one of the core players on the team and an elite defender. The Bulls were even hoping there was a way to keep Gibson when signing Anthony was still a possibility.
On draft day, the Bulls gave up two first-round picks for McDermott and also received Anthony Randolph. They then traded Randolph and two second-round picks to the Orlando Magic. That seems like a lot of draft picks to trade for a player you don’t intend on keeping. The Bulls scouted McDermott for two years and are said to be extremely impressed by his scoring ability and work ethic.
Then there’s Mirotic. The Bulls have been waiting to bring the now former Real Madrid star over since 2011, will pay up to $600k for his buyout and just recently signed him to a lucrative contract. The Bulls even turned down top-10 picks in the 2014 NBA Draft for Mirotic.
It seems like a hefty price to pay, particularly for a Bulls front office that has been historically tentative about parting with valued assets. Gar Forman and John Paxson could really be going all-in, but it is more likely that the rumored trade is a ploy from the Timberwolves to get the Cleveland Cavaliers to up their offer.