When Mike Dunleavy signed with the Bulls last offseason, he assumed he was signing on for an off-the-bench role on a contending team. Quite a bit has changed with the season-ending injury to Derrick Rose and the recent trade of Luol Deng. Dunleavy is doing his best to adapt to his new role as a starter writes K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. Here’s more on the Bulls:
- The Deng trade to the Cavaliers, the possibility of further trades, and the potential use of the amnesty clause on Carlos Boozer after the season has led to speculation the team is heading into a rebuilding phase. Both executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson and general manager Gar Forman discounted that assertion. Instead, they countered with the notion that the team was simply retooling. This retooling will be aided by the Bulls getting themselves out of paying the luxury tax for this season, and the Bulls fully intend to put the money right back into the team, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun Times.
- Cowley also notes that Cartier Martin, who was recently signed to a 10-day contract, had a strong debut for the team. In 26 minutes of action off the bench, Martin contributed 11 points and made four-out-of-five shots from the field. Martin said he had several options with other NBA teams but thought the Bulls were the best fit for him.
- Another bit from Cowley is that with the recent speculation that the Knicks would pursue coach Tom Thibodeau, Bobcats coach Steve Clifford, a former assistant along with Thibodeau for the Knicks and Rockets, expressed that he didn’t believe Thibodeau would be fazed by participating in the rebuilding or retooling of the team. Thibodeau stated in response to the Knicks rumors: “That stuff is ridiculous. First I was being traded. … I couldn’t care less about that stuff. I love the fighting spirit of this team. That’s all I’m thinking about.“