Central Notes: Stephenson, Bulls

January 28 at 6:34pm CST By Cray Allred

The Bulls have continued to win a surprising amount of games after trading Luol Deng to the Cavs. Taj Gibson told reporters, including K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune, he believes they can keep winning, even as they embark on a 6-game road trip against Western Conference opponents. Here are some other notes from the Central Division:

  • While Lance Stephenson won’t hint much at his pending unrestricted free agency, his parents tell Mark Montieth of Pacers.com that they are optimistic he will stay with the Pacers. The guard, enjoying a breakout season, was told by team president Larry Bird that an extension was on the way. “I listened to Larry Bird (at the press conference to announce Paul George‘s long-term contract last summer) say, ‘Lance, you’ll be sitting here with your dad.’ That’s what we believe,” Stephenson’s father says. “Until otherwise, that’s the plan. Larry Bird said that and we bought into it. We believe it, Lance believes it.”
  • Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf told WGN’s Rich King on Monday that the Bulls will sign Nikola Mirotic no later than the summer of 2015, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune transcribes. The Bulls own the rights to Mirotic, who is currently playing in Spain.
  • Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders thinks that the Bulls would benefit from trading for Carmelo Anthony before the trade deadline. In a hypothetical trade package, Beer likes the idea of Chicago parting with Jimmy Butler, Carlos Boozer, Tony Snell, Kirk Hinrich and two draft picks to obtain Anthony, Iman Shumpert, and Raymond Felton. “A starting five of Derrick Rose, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony, Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah would be an awfully intriguing starting unit,” Beer explains. “Felton would serve as insurance for Rose, in case the former MVP has any hiccups in his return from injury. And once Rose is back and completely healthy, Felton would be a solid back-up point guard, and could also, at times, play alongside Rose in the same backcourt.”
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