Archive for the ‘chicago bulls’ Category

One week before the season’s trade deadline, New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis shocked the basketball world when he requested a trade via his agent, Rich Paul. Although it seemed out of nowhere, the speculations were his camp would want to team him up with LeBron James, who is currently playing for the Los Angeles Lakers.

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Davis and James are both represented by Paul. The purple and gold were willing to gut their roster just to acquire AD from the Pels, but there were reports that Boston Celtics front office guru Danny Ainge called New Orleans management and told them to wait until this summer, as they will be willing to offer anyone on their roster as well.

Before that question is answered, let us first discuss an intriguing trade scenario that the Celtics and Pelicans could explore, as suggested by Ethan Krieger of PelicanDeFrief.com.

A three-team trade that also involves the Indiana Pacers.

So, who will get who?

Boston Celtics – Anthony Davis

New Orleans Pelicans – Jayson Tatum, Domantas Sabonis, draft picks, other assets.

Indiana Pacers – Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart

Why it makes sense for Boston?

Their main goal is of course, to acquire AD, which they will, at least in this scenario. They would become the favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference this June. Davis, alongside Irving, will make Boston an inside-outside threat. Sure, they will give up three young assets, but they will get a generational talent in return.

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The next couple months around the NBA will be filled with teams attempting to dethrone Kevin Durant and the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors.

After that, it’s going to be all about free agency. Durant joins a stacked group of impending free agents that includes teammate Klay Thompson as well as All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard, among others.

It’s been widely speculated that Durant might leave Golden State for the bright lights of NYC— passing up on the opportunity to play in San Francisco’s brand new Chase Center in the process.

While Durant has not wanted to talk about his FA, he has seemingly dropped a few hints.

Here’s the latest example of that.

The reigning NBA Finals MVP was just featured on a video presented by his Thirty Five Ventures showing the forward driving around some of the iconic sights in San Francisco.

It’s his comments about the community that are rather interesting.

“I WAS WATCHING THIS JANIS JOPLIN DOCUMENTARY LAST YEAR, AND IT WAS TELLING ME HOW ROCK AND ROLL AND JUST THE HIPPIE MOVEMENT KIND OF STARTED HERE, RIGHT IN SAN FRANCISCO,” DURANT SAID IN THE VIDEO. “AND I WAS JUST LIKE, MAN. TO KNOW THAT MUCH CULTURE AND HISTORY IS IN THE SAME CITY THAT I’M ACTUALLY PLAYING AND LIVING IN, THAT MADE ME FEEL REAL PROUD TO BE A PART OF THIS COMMUNITY.”

Does that sound like a man that’s ready to leave a community he has embraced for nearly the past three years? We’re not too sure. Though, it’s cryptic messages like these that can play into a thought process. It’s also possible to read too much into this.

The funny thing here is that Durant and his Warriors don’t play in San Francisco quite yet. They are relocating from Oakland next season.

Only time will tell on this front. For now, Durant’s focus is on bringing a third consecutive NBA championship to the Bay Area. Whatever happens after that is anyone’s guess.

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The Celtics have so many talented players.

Yet, they started Gordon Hayward – whose play clearly didn’t merit it – his first 15 games this season.

Boston went just 8-7 during those games. Its main starting lineup – Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward, and Al Horford – scored only 91.1 points and got outscored by 3.9 points per 100 possessions during that span.

Why were the Celtics so invested in Hayward?

Several reasons:

He’s earning $31,214,295 this season and is due $66,887,775 the next two years. He was going to factor significantly into the team’s roster construction, regardless. There was plenty of financial pressure to get Hayward on track.

Hayward suffered a season-ending injury in Boston’s first game last season. He didn’t get healthy until shortly before the season. Hayward reaching full speed was always likely to require a rocky transition into gameplay at some point.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens coached Hayward at Butler. It always helps to have the coach so personally believe in you.

Stephen A. Smith of ESPN:

And then there’s the element of Boston, Massachusetts. They don’t just want a star. Of course, they’ll take any star that they can get, because their priority is winning. But everybody and their mother knows that particularly when it comes to Boston if we can have a white superstar, that would be even better. And they view Gordon Hayward as having that kind of potential.

So, all of those things considered, the players recognize this, were aware of this. And ultimately those who were compromised by having to be on a court with Gordon Hayward were sensitive to it.

Not because they don’t like him. Not because he’s not a good guy, because he is a good guy. It’s just that they know he hasn’t fully recovered 100 percent from his injury. So, he’s not the same as he used to be. They know he’s going to be a step slower. They know he’s going to be compromised. I have spoken to people in the league who literally have said, “Look, man, no disrespect to Gordon Hayward, nice guy, but he’s really, really compromised right now. He’s not the same guy that he was.” And they said, “We actually kind of feel sorry for him, because he is a nice guy, and we know he’s trying to come back from injury.”

Are there Celtics fans who’d prefer a white star? Yes.

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When the Bulls named Michael Reinsdorf chief operating officer and president in 2010, Jerry’s son vowed to be hands-on and accessible.

The former has been apparent over the last eight-plus years, and the latter is happening with more frequency. Michael Reinsdorf sat down with the Tribune for a lengthy interview on the eve of this season and did so again by phone Monday.

Over the course of 30 minutes, he touched on a wide variety of topics, including the futures of John Paxson, Gar Forman and Jim Boylen. Here’s a partial transcript of that conversation, edited for space and clarity:

Will John Paxson and Gar Forman be back next season?

Absolutely. We believe they’ve done a great job. I know that in this market, with some of our fans and some in the media, they look at it differently. That perplexes me. Let’s talk about them individually because that’s another thing I don’t understand — why they’re referred to as “GarPax” when they have different job responsibilities.

John, as our vice president of basketball operations, he took over in 2003 and orchestrated our first rebuild. He inherited a team and made a lot of different trades. He drafted Kirk Hinrich. We spent $3 million in a trade with Phoenix so we could draft Ben Gordon and Luol Deng in the same draft. He added Joakim Noah. We signed a top free agent in Ben Wallace in 2006. A lot of people forget he was the No. 1 free agent that year. And we ended up sweeping the defending NBA champion Miami Heat in the first round and played Detroit in a tight, six-game series. We were on our way.

Otto Porter Jr. has had a massive impact on the Bulls’ soul.

Their 5-3 record since he came on board is an obvious consequence. His attitude, his shot-making, his size — which makes switching seamless — and his dog mentality on defense have generated a true esprit de corps.

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“I can’t say I did,’’ coach Jim Boylen said Thursday when asked if he thought Porter would be so influential so quickly. “I would not be telling you the truth. I’m thankful for it, but I didn’t see it coming.’’

That’s because a player’s intangibles often aren’t felt until he’s in that locker room.

Jabari Parker was signed to a two-year, $40 million contract during the summer and boasted that he wasn’t paid to play defense, which he backed up once training camp and the regular season started.

Parker and Bobby Portis were sent packing to the Wizards for Porter, who came in with playoff experience and a contract that pays him $26 million this season and $27.2 million next season with a player option at $28.4 million for the 2020-21 season. Big money, no doubt. But the new highest-paid Bull is willing to dive after loose balls, wants to defend the best players and plays the game unselfishly.

Adam Silver still thinks the NBA All-Star Game needs a dramatic overhaul, and this year’s exhibition in Charlotte didn’t change his mind.

“The All-Star Game didn’t work,” the commissioner said at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Friday, adding that the game was “an afterthought” of the weekend, according to the Associated Press.

“I get it. We put an earring on a pig.”

Silver brought up the possibility of a midseason tournament replacing the All-Star Game if the league cuts the regular-season schedule down to roughly 70 games.