Chicago Bulls

Kiwi Gardner To Play For Bulls' D-League Team

  • Adam Johnson of D-League Digest offers up a few more details on the D-League expansion draft, noting that most players selected won’t end up playing for the teams that drafted them. Still, Kiwi Gardner – selected in the second round by the Windy City Bulls – is expected to play for Chicago’s D-League affiliate this season, his agent tells Johnson.

Stephen Jackson Interested In Bulls

  • Stephen Jackson, another longtime NBA veteran attempting to make an NBA comeback, also appeared on SiriusXM NBA Radio this week (SoundCloud link). Jackson suggested he has “a good two years left” and named the Knicks, Bulls, and Pelicans as a few teams that would interest him. “I’m not one of those guys chasing the ring,” Jackson said. “I have one, so I’m really not one of those guys that’s looking to be a part of a championship team and try to steal a ring and not really earn it. … I just want to play basketball and do what I love to do.”

2016 NBA D-League Expansion Draft Results

The NBA D-League conducted its expansion draft today, allowing the league’s three new teams to add the rights to 12 players apiece. The league’s previously-existing 19 teams had been permitted to retain the rights to 10 players each, leaving the rest of their players unprotected and free to be drafted, as Chris Reichert of explained earlier today.

As we noted on Tuesday, the D-League’s three new franchises this year are affiliates for the Nets (Long Island Nets), Hornets (Greensboro Swarm), and Bulls (Windy City Bulls).

The players those three teams added today won’t necessarily play for them this season — in fact, it’s somewhat rare for expansion draftees to suit up for their new clubs, as D-League Digest tweets. Many of those players will try to catch on with an NBA team or will end up playing overseas. Still, the expansion draft gives the D-League’s new teams some assets as they start to build their rosters for the coming season.

Per Reichert, here are the results of today’s expansion draft. The player’s former D-League team is noted in parentheses, and picks are ordered by round. The teams will hold their players’ rights for the next two seasons:

Long Island Nets (Twitter link)

  1. Gary Forbes (Grand Rapids Drive)
  2. Carrick Felix (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  3. Jamaal Franklin (Los Angeles D-Fenders)
  4. Akil Mitchell (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  5. Peyton Siva (Delaware 87ers)
  6. Alex Kirk (Canton Charge)
  7. Austin Freeman (Westchester Knicks)
  8. Kendall Gray (Iowa Energy)
  9. Lazar Hayward (Los Angeles D-Fenders)
  10. Dwayne Polee Jr. (Reno Bighorns)
  11. Matt Bouldin (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  12. Lewis Jackson (Salt Lake City Stars)

Greensboro Swarm (Twitter link)

  1. Josh Davis (Austin Spurs)
  2. Abdul Gaddy (Maine Red Claws)
  3. Tony Bishop (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  4. Scotty Hopson (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  5. Toure’ Murry (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  6. Rodney Williams (Oklahoma City Blue)
  7. Josh Huestis (Oklahoma City Blue)
  8. Ralston Turner (Grand Rapids Drive)
  9. Keanau Post (Raptors 905)
  10. Damien Wilkins (Iowa Energy)
  11. Kris Joseph (Westchester Knicks)
  12. Dee Bost (Raptors 905)

Windy City Bulls (Twitter link)

  1. Wesley Saunders (Austin Spurs)
  2. Kiwi Gardner (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  3. Ralph Sampson III (Maine Red Claws)
  4. Booker Woodfox (Texas Legends)
  5. Jerel McNeal (Northern Arizona Suns)
  6. Akeem Richmond (Reno Bighorns)
  7. Casey Prather (Northern Arizona Suns)
  8. Jon Octeus (Canton Charge)
  9. Justin Dentmon (Texas Legends)
  10. Jamal Jones (Delaware 87ers)
  11. Xavier Thames (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  12. Ian Chiles (Salt Lake City Stars)

Jimmy Butler No Longer A Trade Candidate

A handful of big-name players, including Jimmy Butler, Paul Millsap, and Blake Griffin, have been mentioned in trade rumors at some point this summer, but those guys almost certainly aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, writes Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. In addition to Butler, Millsap, and Griffin, stars like DeMarcus Cousins, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Love are staying put with their current teams, despite being the subjects of frequent trade speculation.

While the gist of Kyler’s tidbits on each of those six players is the same – they’re not being traded unless things change drastically for the team or player – each situation is a little different, so let’s round up some of Kyler’s latest info on those stars…

  • The Kings and Cousins have agreed to take a “fresh-start approach” to their union, according to Kyler, who notes that the big man likes the hiring of coach Dave Joerger. While Cousins’ potential 2018 free agency will be a factor down the road, Sacramento is turning away incoming inquiries and will likely play out the 2016/17 season with Cousins as the team’s cornerstorne before considering any franchise-altering decisions.
  • Like the Kings with Cousins, the Thunder would have to play extremely poorly in the first half for the team to consider any major in-season change involving Westbrook. Sources tell Kyler that there is almost no scenario in which Oklahoma City explores moving the star point guard during the season, though the team will of course be keeping a close eye on how its roster looks in the post-Kevin Durant era.
  • Per Kyler, sources close to Griffin “have been adamant” that he intends to re-sign with the Clippers once his current contract is up — that could happen next summer, since the star forward has an early termination option. Doc Rivers is confident Griffin will remain in Los Angeles for the long term and has no interest in engaging in trade talks, says Kyler.
  • The Hawks seriously explored a Millsap trade in July, but those talks came to an end after the team lost Al Horford. Sources tell Kyler that Millsap has been assured he won’t be dealt anytime soon, though the veteran’s potential 2017 free agency looms as a possible concern if Atlanta struggles out of the gate.

Hoiberg Confident Rondo/Wade Backourt Can Work

The Bulls added experience this offseason in Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo, potentially at the cost of putting a cohesive unit on the court, but coach Fred Hoiberg believes his new look roster can be effective on offense, Vincent Goodwill of relays. “The biggest thing is we have multiple playmakers now, we have guys who can get in and break down the defense,” Hoiberg said. “That’s the most important thing to have on an NBA roster is multiple ballhandlers, multiple playmakers. Bigs who are gonna set screens and put pressure on the rim.”

  • New Knicks center Joakim Noah has no ill feelings toward the Bulls and appreciates the time he spent in Chicago, but is still looking forward to facing his old franchise this coming season, writes K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. “I have no anger towards nobody,” Noah said. “If we had a couple rough years at the end, I’m just still so grateful for the opportunity the Bulls gave me. It’s like a family to me. Even though it’s a new chapter for the end of my career to be in New York, I think Chicago is always going to be a home to me.

Butler, Rondo Recruiting Stephen Jackson

Stephen Jackson, who is reportedly eyeing an NBA return, says he’s being recruited by members of the Bulls, Raul Barrigon of HoopsHype relays.

Well, actually not a lot of people know that Jimmy Butler has been calling me,” Jackson told Barrigon. “We’ve been talking for like three months now. Even Rajon Rondo has been calling me, they really want me on the Bulls team. I’ve been talking to a lot of guys, because guys know what I bring. There’s not many guys like me. There’s probably one or two guys in the NBA like me that can play both ways and don’t mind really shutting the guy down. I’m a winner, I’ve been in the playoffs many years. Guys know I’m a great teammate, Tim Duncan called me the ultimate teammate. I know how to play good for the guy next to me. I’m getting calls and I will be ready and that’s the biggest part.

Free Agent Spending By Division: Central

Over the course of the last week, we’ve been breaking down 2016 NBA free agent spending by division, examining which teams – and divisions – were the most active this summer.

These divisional breakdowns won’t present a full picture of teams’ offseason spending. Some notable free agents, including LeBron James, remain unsigned, so there’s still money out there to be spent. Our lists also don’t include money spent on this year’s first- and second-round picks or draft-and-stash signings. There are a few free agent names missing in some instances as well, since those deals aren’t yet official or terms haven’t been reported.

Still, these closer looks at divisional spending should generally reveal how teams invested their money in free agency this summer, identifying which clubs went all-out and which ones played it safe.

With the help of our Free Agent Tracker and contract info from Basketball Insiders, we’ll focus today on the Central division. Our breakdowns of all five other divisions can be found linked at the bottom of this post.

Let’s dive in…

1. Detroit Pistons

  • Total money committed: $207,171,313
  • Guaranteed money committed (including player options): $207,171,313
  • Largest expenditure: Andre Drummond (five years, $127,171,313)
  • Other notable signings:
  • Notes:
    • Ray McCallum’s deal is not included in these totals, since it’s a summer contract which won’t count toward the Pistons’ cap unless he makes the regular-season roster.

2. Milwaukee Bucks

  • Total money committed: $119,530,000
  • Guaranteed money committed (including player options): $119,530,000
  • Largest expenditure: Miles Plumlee (four years, $49,600,000)
  • Other notable signings:
  • Notes:
    • Dellavedova’s contract was technically the result of a sign-and-trade deal by the Cavaliers, but we’re considering it a Milwaukee signing.

3. Chicago Bulls

  • Total money committed: $78,532,117
  • Guaranteed money committed (including player options): $65,215,696
  • Largest expenditure: Dwyane Wade (two years, $47,000,000)
  • Other notable signings:
  • Notes:
    • Rondo’s second-year salary of $13.397MM is partially guaranteed for $3MM.

4. Indiana Pacers

  • Total money committed: $32,700,000
  • Guaranteed money committed (including player options): $26,700,000
  • Largest expenditure: Al Jefferson (three years, $30,000,000)
  • Other notable signings:
  • Notes:
    • Jefferson’s third-year salary of $10MM is partially guaranteed for $4MM.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Total money committed: $9,573,362
  • Guaranteed money committed (including player options): $6,960,862
  • Largest expenditure: Richard Jefferson (three years, $7,612,500)
  • Other notable signings:
  • Notes:
    • Andersen and Jones will earn $1,551,659 apiece on their minimum-salary deals, but will only be paid $980,431 each by the Cavaliers, with the NBA on the hook for the rest.
    • Jefferson’s third-year salary of $2,612,500 is fully non-guaranteed.
    • DeAndre Liggins‘ deal has been officially signed, but exact terms of that contract haven’t been reported, so we haven’t included it in the Cavs’ totals for now.
    • The Cavs have also yet to formally re-sign LeBron James, whose new contract will bump up the club’s free agent expenditures significantly. A new deal for J.R. Smith may also be on the horizon.




Eastern Notes: Bulls, Cavs, Stephenson

Despite signing Rajon Rondo, who is 30, and Dwyane Wade, who will turn 35 in January, the Bulls did actually get younger this summer, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune details. Chicago will enter training camp with 10 players 25 or younger, compared with five last season, as Johnson points out. Wade’s presence should particularly help the maturation of Jimmy Butler, Johnson writes. Both Wade and Rondo have said the Bulls are Butler’s to lead.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Pacers do not appear close to re-signing unrestricted free agent Lance Stephenson, per Mark Montieth of, who echoes earlier reports. The Pacers were looking for a point guard to fill their final roster spot and Aaron Brooks fit their needs better than another wing player like Stephenson, Montieth writes in a mailbag response.
  • Kay Felder impressed during the summer league and his emergence makes him one of the more intriguing rookies to watch this season, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe writes. With Matthew Dellavedova no longer on the Cavs, Felder, who is a 5’9″ point guard, has a decent shot at a backup role, Washburn adds. Felder’s size, however, does put him at a disadvantage, but, as Washburn points out, the Cavs thought highly enough of him to pay $2.4MM for his rights.

And-Ones: Butler, White, McRoberts

Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler told reporters that he had no influence on the roster moves the team made this offseason, relays. “That has nothing to do with me. I don’t move guys,” Butler said. “It’s like I always say: People are going to think what they want to think. That doesn’t bother me. I know where I stand. I know who I am.”

Butler also noted that he’s happy for former teammates Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, telling reporters, “I’m happy for (Rose). He’s happy for me,” Butler said. “I’m glad we get to go against each other whatever day that may be when the season rolls around. I talked to Jo. We texted a few messages. Nothing too serious, but we’re always going to have love for each other because we’re always going to be teammates. We were in those trenches together.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Aaron White, a 2015 second round pick of the Wizards, signed a two-year deal to play in Russia with Zenit St. Petersburg, J. Michael of reports. The second year is a team option and the pact includes an NBA-out clause, Michael adds. White recently played for Washington’s squad in the Las Vegas summer league where he averaged 7.2 points and shot 29.4% from three-point range.
  • The Warriors have hired former NBA player Willie Green as an assistant on coach Steve Kerr‘s staff, Shams Charania of The Vertical reports (via Twitter).
  • The Heat‘s roster currently stands at 18 players, which is three over the regular season maximum. One player the team would like to move is Josh McRoberts, but thus far have found no takers this offseason despite trying to “give him away,” Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel noted in his recent “Ask Ira” column. Miami may consider waiving the forward, but his player option worth $6,021,175 for 2017/18 complicates matters because the team would be on the hook for that amount if it cut him, Winderman notes.

Salary Cap Snapshot: Chicago Bulls

With the free agent signing period winding down and teams looking ahead to the preseason, we at Hoops Rumors will be tracking the Salary Cap figures for each team around the league.  These posts will be maintained throughout the season once financial data is reported. These posts will be located on the sidebar throughout the year, once all the teams’ cap figures have been relayed. The next franchise we’ll be looking at are the Chicago Bulls, who currently are over the league’s salary cap of $94,143,000 for the 2016/17 season. You can always check for up-to-date rosters for each franchise, with the Bulls’ team page accessible here.

Here’s a breakdown of where the Bulls currently stand financially:

Guaranteed Salary

Total Guaranteed Salary= $94,509,892

Non-Guaranteed Salary

Total Non-Guaranteed Salary= $1,855,067

Eligible for Rookie Scale Extensions: Tony Snell

Cash Sent Out Via Trade: $0 [Amount Remaining $3.5MM]

Cash Received Via Trade: $0 [Amount Remaining $3.5MM]

Payroll Exceptions Available

  • Room Exception — $2,898,000

Total Projected Payroll: $96,364,959

Salary Cap: $94,143,000

Estimated Available Cap Space: $2,221,959

Luxury Tax Threshold: $113,287,000

Amount Below Luxury Tax: $19,144,000

The Basketball Insiders salary pages were used in the creation of this post.

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