Three Central Division teams were in action tonight, as the Bucks endured a surprising blowout loss to the Hornets and fell out of a first-place tie with the Bulls, while the Pistons beat the cellar-dwelling Cavs. Chicago, at 8-7, is the best of an underwhelming bunch, and we rounded up several Bulls rumors earlier today. We have more on them and their Central rivals tonight.
- Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times hears Derrick Rose might be only weeks away from practicing, but cautions that it's unclear whether that means he's ahead of schedule for his return to playing, which is thought to be slated for February.
- The Daily Herald's Mike McGraw doesn't believe the rumor that Bulls will go after Maurice Evans, tweeting that "now is not the time" to add another player, given the team's constraints under the $74.3MM hard cap. The Bulls are eligible to sign someone to a veteran's minimum deal, but a fully guaranteed deal wouldn't allow them to add anyone else for a while longer.
- K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune mentions training-camp invitee Marko Jaric as a possible signing if the Bulls opt to add a player (Twitter link).
- Sean Deveney of The Sporting News examines the struggles of the Pacers, describing the play of their offseason acquisitions as "awful across the board." Deveney also points to the regression of Roy Hibbert, who's fresh off signing a new four-year deal this summer.
- The Sporting News scribe doesn't spare Paul George from criticism, either, and Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star takes a closer look at the inconsistent offensive play of the third-year swingman who'll be eligible for an extension next summer.
- Donald Sloan's defensive shortcomings caused him to fall out of the Cavs rotation before injuries to others forced him back in, and the minimum-salary point guard, who's without a guarantee on his deal, admits he's nervous about getting cut, as Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal documents.