The Minnesota Timberwolves made a move Thursday – deciding on Flip Saunders as the new head coach (expected to be official Friday). He’s not entirely new, having coached the T’wolves from 1995-2005 and working as president of basketball operations since May, 2013.
But it doesn’t do much to change their biggest issue, what to do with Kevin Love?
People have been trying to turn Love into breaking news, but the situation is straight common sense. The Timberwolves need to either convince Love to sign an extension, trade him by February or risk losing him as a free agent in 2015. Love has never made the playoffs during six seasons in Minnesota.
I thought the White Sox would select LSU starter Aaron Nola Thursday with their highest pick (No. 3 overall) since Harold Baines was the first player drafted in 1977.
I was wrong, which is hardly a shock.
The Sox did fill their biggest need by taking a starter, and it was North Carolina State left-hander Carlos Rodon, who dropped below high school pitchers Brady Aiken (first overall to Astros) and Tyler Kolek (second overall to Marlins).
In Rodon, the White Sox are getting a superior talent, no question. The 21-year-old pitcher was 25-10 with a 2.24 ERA in three seasons at N.C. State, and he was widely viewed as the No. 1 overall pick leading into Thursday’s First-Year Player draft.
It’s been quite an awards season for Joakim Noah.
He was named defensive player of the year and was the leading vote-getter for all-defensive team. Now he’s the All-NBA first team center, a very prestigious honor.
Noah is just the fourth Bulls player to ever make first team All-NBA, joining Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Derrick Rose. Jordan made the first team 10 times, Pippen three times and Rose once.
The voting was not close. Noah received 101 of 125 first-team votes. Houston’s Dwight Howard received nine and Charlotte’s Al Jefferson got four.
Noah will get a contract bonus of $500,000 for making All-NBA first team, but that payment will not push the Bulls into luxury tax territory, which could bring benefits down the road.
The Cubs made a flurry of roster moves today, and we'll dissect them all in tomorrow's “take” for the newspaper. In short, they designated failed closer Jose Veras for assignment as they welcomed Hector Rondon back from paternity leave. The move is a good shot of confidence for younger relievers Neil Ramirez and Brian Schlitter, neither of whom has done anything to get sent down.
“Jose gave us a couple of outings that were pretty good,” said manager Rick Renteria. “We've had our younger guys that have had to step up in certain situations and have done well. The organization has decided that we'll just continue to move in that direction, with some of the young relievers that we have.”
Bulls forward Taj Gibson sent a sad message out on Twitter -- "They killed my lil superman. Only two more weeks until your 7 birthday. Tears forever."
Gibson was talking about his cousin Prince Joshua Avitto, and the news reports are disturbing. Avitto was riding in the elevator of his Brooklyn housing project with a friend Sunday, when he was attacked by an assailant using a butcher knife. According to relatives, the kids were headed outside to get ice cream.
Avitto was stabbed dozens of times. The friend, Mikayla Capers, 7, survived despite being stabbed 15 times and is in the hospital.
Police are still searching for the suspect, who may have also killed an 18-year-old college student last weekend.
The NBA announced the all-defensive teams today (don't know why it took so long) and Bulls center Joakim Noah easily received the most votes. That makes sense, since he also won defensive player of the year, although it seems like that happened about 3 months ago.
Jimmy Butler made the second team all-defense, while Taj Gibson and Kirk Hinrich were relatively high in others receiving votes. Of course, that also explains why the Bulls are going to pursue Carmelo Anthony this summer. Too many defensive players. They need some scorers.
In the past, NBA coaches have voted for the all-defensive teams, but that may have changed this year.
MILWAUKEE -- It’s a game off for first baseman Anthony Rizzo tonight as the Cubs resume their 10-game road trip tonight at Miller Park. Rizzo has started all 51 games until today. Mike Olt gets the start at first base, with Luis Valbuena playing third. It’s possible shortstop Starlin Castro will get one of the next two games off this weekend.
The Cubs made another roster move today, placing closer Hector Rondon on the paternity list and activating reliever Pedro Strop off the disabled list. Strop went on the DL May 7 with a groin strain. Earlier this week, reliever Wesley Wright went on the paternity list, but he’s back, and Blake Parker has been sent back to Iowa.