All Bull - Chicago Bulls
Late Thursday night, as the NBA Draft wound down, Bulls general manager Gar Forman was asked about Luol Deng.
Deng is headed into the final year of his contract. The Bulls will explore trade interest, but it’s also possible they will try to negotiate an extension when things die down this summer.
“We value Luol, as you all know,” Forman said at the Berto Center. “You’ve heard Tom (Thibodeau) talk about it during the season. You’ve heard us talk about for years. Luol’s a big piece of what we’re doing. He’s been a big piece of the success we’ve had the last couple of years. He’ll continue to be a big piece of what we’re doing moving forward.
Not much to report heading into tonight's NBA Draft, other than reports that Boston and Brooklyn might be on the verge of a blockbuster deal that would send both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Nets.
Brooklyn would also get Jason Terry in the deal and presumably send Kris Humphries, Reggie Evans, Keith Bogans, three first-round picks and maybe Gerald Wallace to the now rebuilding Celtics.
The Bulls are still sitting with the No. 20 pick in the first round and looking at rampant possibilities.
One update: The Oregonian confirmed Tuesday's report in the Daily Herald that all-star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge wants out of Portland. His people have made it clear to the Bulls he'd like to land in Chicago.
Here's the link to the Oregonian story...
The Spurs and Heat played one of the best NBA Finals games in recent memory on Tuesday night.
When it was over, Miami managed to survive with a 103-100 overtime victory, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was subjected to critical second-guessing and two of the league’s oldest players came up big.
In a nutshell, the Spurs had this one in the bag. Tony Parker turned in an incredible sequence – tying 3-pointer, steal, spinning jumper – to put San Antonio up 91-89 with 58 seconds left.
Then after LeBron James committed turnovers on Miami’s next two possessions, the season should have been over. But the Spurs made a series of key mistakes in the final 30 seconds.
For the past several days, we’ve been hearing about Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett moving from Boston to the L.A. Clippers.
At first, the Clippers didn’t want to include point guard Eric Bledsoe, then they didn’t want to take on the contracts of Jason Terry or Courtney Lee, then they supposedly refused to include two first-round draft picks in the deal.
On Tuesday, there was talk that the talks are completely over. Even a straight-up Garnett for DeAndre Jordan and draft picks was reportedly rejected. No deal is over until it’s over, so a revival is always possible.
The Finals are not over yet, but it’s easy to see why San Antonio is in the driver’s seat with a 3-2 lead.
People are still talking about the Big Three era with the Spurs, and rightfully so, since this could be the fourth NBA title for Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili over a span of 11 years.
Duncan could win his fifth championship, since he got one in 1999 before the other two arrived.
In reality, the Spurs have the edge because they’re not a Big Three team anymore. While Parker has taken over for Duncan as the team’s go-to player, Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard have become as important as anybody. Now it’s five players contributing, backed by some decent role players like Tiago Splitter, Boris Diaw and Gary Neal.
One piece of news that flew under the radar this week was longtime NBA assistant Brian James joining Chris Collins' coaching staff at Northwestern.
It's an interesting move because James coached Collins at Glenbrook North High School in the early 1990s. Then James made a jump to the NBA, thanks to Chris' father, Doug Collins.
James was on the coaching staff at all three of Doug Collins' NBA stops, in Detroit, Washington and Philadelphia. James also landed a couple of NBA assistant jobs without Collins' help, in Toronto and Milwaukee.
USA Basketball released the names of 27 players confirmed as participants in next month's Team USA training camp in Las Vegas.
Even though Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is now on board as an assistant coach with the national team, he apparently doesn't have the pull to get a second player invited.
Taj Gibson was the only Bulls player on Wednesday's training camp list. Gibson spent last summer on the U.S. Select team that scrimmaged against the Olympic squad. There was talk that Bulls forward Jimmy Butler might be considered for Team USA camp, but he was not included. Maybe there's a wait list.
Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was named one of three assistant coaches for the U.S. national team on Monday. He will serve at the 2014 FIBA World Championships in Spain and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Thibodeau joins Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim and New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams on the staff with head coach Mike Krzyzewski from Duke.
Krzyzewski talked about Thibodeau's addition in a statement: “To have Tom Thibodeau join us, I think his reputation speaks for itself. He was a great assistant who has become an outstanding pro coach, and nobody wants to play the Bulls.
Dennis Rodman took a break from North Korean relations to suggest Friday that LeBron James would be an average player if he played in the 1990s.
Rodman’s made his remarks on “The Dan Patrick Show.” Here’s the transcript, according to espn.com, which began, of course, with the compulsory comparison of James to Michael Jordan.
"It's really not a comparison,” Rodman said. “If LeBron was playing in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, he would be just an average player. To do what Michael has done ... what he did was more charisma, there was more articulating and stuff like that. LeBron is more like ... there's no flash to his game.
First of all, the most shocking part of Tuesday's Indiana victory in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals -- from a Bulls perspective -- was LeBron James fouling out late in the fourth quarter.
Remember, against the Bulls in the last series, James went nearly three full games -- from late first quarter of Game 2 to late first quarter of Game 5 -- without picking up a single foul. That added up to 119 minutes of playing time (nearly two hours) without being called for a foul.
James did foul out once before in a playoff game, last year against Boston, so it wasn't unprecedented.