The Bulls, at 15-12 following a Christmas Day pasting at home at the hands of the Rockets, aren't too far ahead of the 14-14 Nets, who felt compelled to change coaches. But Chicago is only a half-game behind the Pacers for first-place in the Central Division even without Derrick Rose, so there's a lot more optimism in the Windy City than there is in Brooklyn. We've got more on the Bulls here, including another tie-in with the Nets.
- Former Bulls shooting guard Keith Bogans came close to returning to Chicago in the offseason, telling Shams Charania of RealGM.com that agent Dan Fegan had talks with the Bulls. Bogans has a strong relationship with Tom Thibodeau, and though they didn't talk over the summer about the possibility of his return, the coach pushed the front office to bring him back, Charania reports. When Bogans chose the Nets instead, the Bulls signed Marco Belinelli.
- The Bulls are unlikely to take on any long-term contracts in trades this year, Sam Smith of Bulls.com writes in his mailbag column. Smith theorizes that the team has its eyes on the 2014 free agent market, when LeBron James and other flashy names may become available.
- Though the Suns reportedly have interest in trading for Richard Hamilton, Smith doesn't think a swap that would send Hamilton to Phoenix would work for either team.
- Answering a question about whether the Bulls could be players for DeMarcus Cousins as long as he comes cheaply, Smith said he doesn't think the Kings are willing to dump him for a pittance just yet, though he believes Sacramento will be active on several fronts between now and the trade deadline.