The Bulls would have preferred to have traded Joakim Noah rather than Taj Gibson, hoping to extract value of some sort from Noah before he has the chance to depart in free agency this summer, executives from around the league said to Marc Stein of ESPN.com. The injuries to Noah and Nikola Mirotic have made a Gibson trade even less likely, sources confirmed to Stein. Noah is expected to be out four to six months while Mirotic isn’t likely to return until after the All-Star break.
Here’s the latest from out of the Central Division:
- The Pistons have interest in Ryan Anderson as a free agent this summer but not as a trade candidate, preferring not to have to relinquish assets to snag him, sources tell Stein in a separate piece. ESPN colleague Zach Lowe of ESPN.com previously reported that Detroit was eyeing the Pelicans stretch four.
- The Pacers have elected to go with a bigger lineup after experimenting with a small-ball approach earlier in the season, a move that has benefited 2015 draftee Myles Turner, Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star notes. “You don’t know when you’re dealing with a rookie, a 19-year-old player, how soon it’s going to come,” coach Frank Vogel said. “There’s going to be some ups and some downs but if you look at this at what we think Myles can be. … This is what this team should look like out there.“
- The Bulls‘ backcourt tandem of Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler are still working on developing on-court chemistry, since the two haven’t shared much time on the floor together thanks to Rose’s many injuries, K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune writes. Butler is excited about the potential of the duo, telling Johnson, “I love playing with him [Rose]. He’s super aggressive. He’s taking great shots. That’s what we need. As long as I follow his lead in that attacking style, we’re going to be really good.”
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.