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Central Notes: Rubio, Forman, Harris

The Bulls held off on making any major trade deadline moves because no offers significant enough to improve the team materialized, according to GM Gar Forman, K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune relays. “We understand the frustrations. Up to this point, it has been a disappointing year,” Forman said. “We all realize — from ownership to the front office to the players to the coaching staff — we haven’t done as well as we thought we would do. We hold ourselves accountable that we haven’t met expectations. With that said, we certainly were not in any type of panic mode. We looked at the big picture. Obviously, the injuries that we’ve had have hurt. But that’s not the only reason. … We explored heavily and were very, very active with talks with a lot of teams. There wasn’t something we felt … significant enough to do something right now.

Here’s the latest from the Central Division:

  • The Pistons believe that Tobias Harris is still on the rise as a player and that he will be able to help the franchise in a variety of ways, Keith Langlois of NBA.com writes. “The interesting thing is being able to look at what he was doing this season but going back to our free-agent preparation for the summer and the review of last year’s performance,” GM Jeff Bower told Langlois. “We feel that showed us a player with a variety of skills that can help a team in numerous ways. We also think that his play and the projection of his performance over the next five years is on a steady incline based on what we’re seeing and think he has a lot of room to grow as a player. We really like that this is a move that can be looked at as a long-term move as well as one that will fit with our core group of players and we’ll be able to keep them together due to contract certainty. Those are all pieces that were pretty important.”
  • The protected first round pick the Cavaliers sent to the Trail Blazers as part of the Channing Frye trade will become two second round picks if it is not conveyed in 2018 or 2019, Erik Gunderson of The Columbian relays (on Twitter).
  • The Bulls never attempted to trade power forward Pau Gasol, though the team did receive numerous inquiries about his availability, Forman insists, as Nick Friedell of ESPN.com notes (Twitter links). Forman also indicated that the team still hopes to re-sign center Joakim Noah, who will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, Friedell adds.
  • Cavs GM David Griffin noted that the team had a deal in place with Frye when he was a free agent in 2014, but Cleveland couldn’t make the numbers work because it needed all of its cap space to sign LeBron James, Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal tweets.
  • The Bucks made several attempts to pry point guard Ricky Rubio away from the Wolves but balked when Minnesota requested shooting guard Khris Middleton in return, Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press reports (Twitter link).

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