The NBA draft has come and gone, the summer league has concluded and the free-agency frenzy has tempered. But with the regular season still months away, rumors continue to swirl around the league.
One of the biggest names out there is, of course, Kevin Love. While he's not set to be a free agent until next summer, trade rumors have surrounded the Minnesota Timberwolves superstar all summer.
For teams looking to add a slightly more veteran presence, Ray Allen might be pondering a return this season. Allen isn't the star he once was, but he might be bringing his leadership to a mostly young contender.
As the wild summer continues, here's a look at the most recent rumors from around the NBA.
Bulls Making Push for Kevin Love
Throughout the summer, Love's name has surfaced among myriad franchises with playoff hopes. Add the Chicago Bulls to that list.
For months, teams like the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly offered deals for the superstar. Now, Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com reports the Bulls have offered a trade:
There are a lot of pieces there for just one player who might potentially be on lease.
First, let's start with the players being offered. Taj Gibson is a consistent role player coming off his best season with the Bulls, averaging 13 points and 6.8 rebounds in 28.7 minutes last year.
Gibson spoke about the rumors and his thoughts on his role this season, via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
Taj Gibson said trade rumors part of the business and that Bulls haven't told him anything.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) July 23, 2014
Taj Gibson "loves" the Pau Gasol addition and said he was never told he would start and has no problem coming off bench.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) July 23, 2014
Tack on two first-round picks in Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic, and this looks like a deal that erases nearly every bit of youth from the Bulls roster. Is that really worth bringing in a player who could bolt after one season?
Sure, there is enough talent around Love to potentially convince him to stay with Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose, but it's still a risky deal. Mortgaging the future to chase Love might wind up biting the Bulls if this deal does come to fruition.
Ray Allen Potentially Returning to Cavaliers
Fresh off blowing the candles out for his 39th birthday, Ray Allen is reportedly pondering a return to the NBA.
After spending the last two seasons with the Miami Heat, Allen might be rejoining LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe provides the latest on the veteran shooter:
Former Celtic and Heat standout Ray Allen is leaning towards returning for a 19th NBA season and joining former teammate LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to a league source. …
But James, along with ex-Heat swingman Mike Miller, who signed with the Cavaliers earlier this month, have been lobbying Allen to join them with the resurrected franchise.
Allen was able to win yet another ring with the Heat during his time but looked like a shell of himself in the 2013-14 playoffs. The 18-year veteran had a career-low 9.3 points and just 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 20 games during the postseason.
Though his production has dipped over the years, Allen brings a lot more to the table. If he does join the Cavaliers, Allen brings a veteran presence and leadership along with James on and off the court.
Having a grasp of James' and Miller's mentality also makes this the perfect fit for Allen if he returns. While his mind isn't made up officially, this might be just the latest great news for Cleveland this summer.
Eric Bledsoe Part of Suns' Plans for Bright Future
Here's a quick breakdown of the Phoenix Suns' offseason: They drafted Tyler Ennis. Management then went out and completed a sign-and-trade for Isaiah Thomas.
Both of these moves took place with emerging star Goran Dragic still on the roster and Eric Bledsoe on the market as a restricted free agent. That sparked rumors about a sign-and-trade for Bledsoe with the Los Angeles Lakers, per Jon Bloom of Arizona Sports 98.7:
My source in L.A. is pushing Lakers to offer Julius Randle, Jordan Hill & 1st Rd Pick from Lin deal in sign & trade for Bledsoe. #Hmmmm— Jon Bloom (@JonBloom) July 18, 2014
That appears to make sense with the depth currently on the roster, but it might not be the Suns' plan.
With depth in the backcourt already, Phoenix is allegedly still looking to keep the core of its team intact. Bob Young of The Arizona Republic reports the latest behind the scenes with Phoenix:
While the Suns were reluctant to talk about where Bledsoe fits into all of this on a day they were introducing Thomas and forward Anthony Tolliver, privately they are making it clear that Bledsoe is and always has been integral to their long-range plans. …
Bledsoe reportedly is seeking a maximum contract of $80 million over five seasons, which only the Suns can offer. … By all accounts the Suns will match such a deal if necessary, even if it limits what they can do in the future.
As the story continues to unfold with Bledsoe and the Suns, it appears they're ready to match any offer. But with plenty of depth at the position, they have enough talent for the future to help Bledsoe.
With Bledsoe, Dragic, Miles Plumlee, Markieff and Marcus Morris and T.J. Warren, the Suns have a roster loaded with potential. If they truly can keep Bledsoe around, Phoenix has a chance to be a contender in the West for years to come.
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