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Bulls GM happy with 'aggressive' offseason

7/31/2014

LAS VEGAS -- Chicago Bulls general manager Gar Forman hasn't completely ruled out making another major deal before training camp, but said Wednesday he is happy with the roster he and executive vice president John Paxson have put together this summer.

The Bulls added veterans Pau Gasol and Aaron Brooks, European star Nikola Mirotic, and rookie Doug McDermott while re-signing Kirk Hinrich to go along with a core led by All-Stars Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.

"We were really pleased," Forman said. "We said going into the offseason we had a level of flexibility that we thought we could really upgrade our team in several ways. We wanted to have a deeper team. I think we accomplished that. I think we've got quality depth pretty much across the board. And then we wanted to improve our skill level and our ability to shoot the basketball to space the floor, and I think we were able to do that so we were very encouraged with how the free-agency period went as far as putting our team together and putting pieces together that we think fit with the core guys we have coming back and fit with each other, the new guys coming in."

One new guy who likely isn't headed to Chicago is Minnesota Timberwolves big man Kevin Love. ESPN.com reported late Wednesday night that the Cleveland Cavaliers are the only team in serious negotiations at this time. Forman spoke to the media hours before the latest Love report came out.

"It's become a 12-month cycle," Forman said. "And the NBA, it used to be this time of year things would just kind of die. The sense is it's not like that anymore. There's always some talk. That's our job. We're always going to try to talk to people around the league, get a feel for what's going on in the market. And if there are opportunities, we'll look at them. With that said, we really like the group that we have, and we're looking forward to getting going in October with that group."

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau likes the group, as well, but he said his team must prove itself on the floor.

"It looks good, but we have to see how it unfolds," Thibodeau said. "The team that won 62 games and won 50 in the lockout season, they did it on the floor so we can talk about it but we got to put the work into it and then we got to see what it looks like when we're on the floor. But I think we have quality depth. I love the players that we have, so we're looking forward to the challenge."

Forman, who said the Bulls were "aggressive" in their pursuit of free agents, and Thibodeau know the Bulls are only going to be able to contend for a title if Rose stays healthy. That's why they are so pleased with what they have seen from Rose during Team USA's camp this week.

"I think he's been terrific," Forman said. "He looks strong, he looks confident, he looks explosive, he's been in a real good rhythm. He's playmaking for himself and others. It's been really, really encouraging."