All Bull - Chicago Bulls
According to various reports, the Philadelphia 76ers, whose coaching search has dragged on for weeks, are interested in talking to Bulls assistants Adrian Griffin and Ed Pinckney.
Griffin is taking the lead on the Bulls' summer league squad in Las Vegas, but all the Bulls' assistants are on the bench, including Pinckney, Andy Greer and Mike Wilhelm.
Meanwhile, former Bulls assistant Ron Adams has landed in Boston, where he'll be the lead assistant for new Celtics coach Brad Stevens. The Bulls chose not to renew Adams' contract in a controversial move. Adams and Tom Thibodeau have been tight since working together in San Antonio in the early 1990s.
Stevens, the former Butler coach, is one of the youngest head coaches in NBA history at 36.
The Bulls have found themselves a summer sensation. Andrew Goudelock dropped in 31 points, hitting 10 of 13 shots from the field, as the Bulls beat Denver 93-81 at the Las Vegas summer league on Monday.
Goudelock was already the leading scorer in Las Vegas, tallying 26 points in the opener. The summer Bulls improved to 2-0 and play Portland on Tuesday before starting the playoffs.
Malcolm Thomas set a summer-league record with 22 rebounds, to go with 13 points. Second-round draft pick Erik Murphy bounced back from a tough opening game to score 18 points, hitting 4-of-5 shots from 3-point range.
Derrick Rose has been avoiding media in Chicago, but here he is on a Serbian TV's "Ami G Show." Rose even gets out on the court at the end.
This was part of a promotional tour of Europe, which took Rose to Milan, Paris, London, Belgrade, Croatia and is wrapping up in Madrid.
Andrei Kirilenko opted out of a $10 million contract for next season from the Timberwolves. Instead, he took the mini mid-level from Brooklyn, worth $3.18 million.
Consider it another coup for the Nets, who added Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and Shaun Livingston this summer without giving up any key players beyond Gerald Wallace.
All these moves come at a price. By adding Kirilenko, Brooklyn’s payroll for next season has crossed the $100 million barrier (the salary cap is $58 million). Thanks to the new escalating luxury tax included in the latest collective bargaining agreement, the Nets are facing a tax bill of around $82 million.
The previous record for largest luxury tax bill was $52 million by Portland in 2002-03, according to ShamSports.
The NBA released two numbers on Tuesday night. The salary cap for 2013-14 was set at $58.679 million, while the luxury-tax threshold is $71.748 million.
What do these figures mean for the Bulls? It’s better to take a look at them individually.
SALARY CAP: This means nothing to the Bulls this season. Even by using the amnesty clause, they won’t have any cap room.
But they are hoping to have cap space next summer. The salary cap hasn’t changed much since the recession hit. The number was actually higher in 2008-09 (by $1,000) than it is this year.
Dwight Howard has settled in Houston and now most of the high-priced free agents are off the market. As of Sunday evening, the biggest name still available was Monta Ellis, who opted out of the final year of his deal with Milwaukee. The latest major move on Saturday was former Atlanta forward Josh Smith joining Detroit.
One lingering question for the Bulls: How much longer will Nate Robinson stay on the market and is there still any chance he could return?
Here’s the list of reported agreements. Nothing can be official until July 10:
REPORTED SIGNINGS (Through July 9, 11 p.m.):
Al Jefferson signs with BOBCATS for three years, $41 million
Josh McRoberts re-signs with BOBCATS for two years, $6 million
O.J. Mayo signs with BUCKS for three years, $24 million
Breaking news on Thursday: Ex-Bulls guard Marco Belinelli has reportedly agreed to join the defending West champ San Antonio for two years, $6 million. That's the same figure the Bulls will use to sign Mike Dunleavy.
Also new, improving ex-Lakers PF Earl Clark joins the Cavs and Utah PF Al Jefferson agrees to join the Bobcats for three-years, $41 million. I'd say Jefferson made a questionable choice and am not sure why the Jazz wouldn't at least match this.
Of course, if Charlotte gets better, the Bulls might get that first-round draft pick from the Tyrus trade sooner. It's top 10 protected in 2014, top 8 in 2015, unprotected in 2016. In an ironic twist, there are rumors the Bobcats will use the amnesty provision on Thomas in order to sign Jefferson.
Bulls free-agent addition Mike Dunleavy told the Racine Journal Times he heard from at least a dozen suitors on the first day of free-agency, but quickly settled on the Bulls after personal phone calls from coach Tom Thibodeau and GM Gar Forman.
“I was very flattered by all the interest,” Dunleavy said. “There was a lot of interest; it was well into the double digits. I had some good opportunities, but Chicago blew me out of the water.
“I don’t think it’s fair to say it was one thing that determined my choice; it was just the entire package they presented me. There was high interest from them right off the bat. I knew they wanted me and that meant a lot. I couldn’t envision a better situation.”
The Bulls reached an agreement to bring back veteran center Nazr Mohammed on Tuesday. The move was expected and Mohammed confirmed the news on his Twitter account.
By adding Mohammed and Mike Dunleavy Jr., the Bulls have commitments from 12 players for next season, including draft picks. They'll probably look to add one more guard before the start of training camp.
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.