Chicago Bulls Rumors

Chicago Bulls trade, free agent, and draft rumors, updated constantly by the NBA experts at HoopsRumors.com.

Latest On Tom Thibodeau

May 23 at 2:58pm CDT By Chuck Myron

SATURDAY, 2:58pm: The Bulls are determined to hold on to Thibodeau until the remaining coaching vacancies have been filled, meaning that if they then fire him, it would likely leave him out of coaching for the 2015/16 season, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports.

THURSDAY, 2:39pm: The Magic’s interest in Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has been overstated, a source tells K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter links). Thibodeau, whose seemingly rocky relationship with Bulls management appears poised to result in a split this summer, has long been linked to Orlando’s vacancy. However, recent reports that the Magic would be willing to pay him $7-9MM a year and that the Orlando job is Thibodeau’s for the taking are off-base, Johnson hears, as is the notion that the team is prepared to give the Bulls compensation for the right to hire him. The Bulls are widely expected to demand assets in return for letting Thibodeau out of his contract, which runs two more seasons, and a recent report indicated that the Magic would likely be willing to give up one or two second-round picks for the right to hire Thibs.

Still, the Magic may indeed still wind up talking to Thibodeau at some point, Johnson adds. As of Wednesday, no team had yet contacted the Bulls to request to interview Thibodeau, a league source told Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. The Bulls haven’t spoken with Fred Hoiberg, reportedly the team’s top choice to replace Thibodeau if Chicago indeed parts ways with its coach, the source also said to Berger. Alvin Gentry, another apparent front-runner for the would-be Bulls opening, reportedly has strong interest in the Pelicans job, which he interviewed for Monday. The Bulls want to set up a clear plan of succession before starting talks about what sort of compensation they’d want from other teams in exchange for letting them hire Thibodeau, Berger wrote last week.

Thibodeau isn’t about to quit and simply give up the nearly $9MM left on his contract, as Johnson recently observed, and if the Bulls are determined to make Thibodeau go away, they likely have a distinct financial motivation to work out a deal with another team. Most NBA coaching contracts, including those the Bulls have given out in the past, have a set-off clause that would absolve the team of whatever it owes the coach if he takes another job at an equal or greater salary during the term of the pact, Berger explains. So, if Thibodeau can find another team willing to pay him at least $4-5MM a year, the Bulls probably won’t owe him any money, according to Berger. The Nuggets are “not an option” for Thibodeau, Berger also wrote, apparently leaving Orlando and New Orleans as the only teams with existing vacancies left to bid.

Pelicans Interview Alvin Gentry, Eye JVG, Brooks

May 22 at 10:16pm CDT By Chuck Myron

FRIDAY, 10:16pm: Van Gundy has expressed interest in coaching the Pelicans, Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets.

THURSDAY, 12:50pm: Gentry sees the chance to coach Davis as career-defining and is “more than interested” in the job, a source close to Gentry told John Reid of The Times-Picayune. The source pointed to clear indications that Gentry will meet again with Pelicans management after the season is over for the Warriors, Reid adds. New Orleans wants a coach who’ll install an exciting, up-tempo attack while further developing Davis, Reid hears from league sources, and Gentry’s last NBA head coaching gig came with the fast-paced Steve Nash-era Suns.

8:34pm: Gentry is being interviewed by Pelicans president Mickey Loomis and GM Dell Demps tonight in San Francisco, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Gentry, who was granted permission by the Warriors to interview in between playoff series, will try to sell the Pelicans’ brass on offensive strategies that he would institute to expand Anthony Davis‘ game, Wojnarowski continues. Loomis is also interested in Thibodeau, who is waiting to hear from the Bulls about his future with the franchise, but Demps isn’t as sold on the hard-edged Chicago coach after having endured much internal conflict with former coach Monty Williams, Wojnarowski hears. The Pelicans have also made calls on Jeff Van Gundy and have an interest in Scott Brooks, Wojnarowski adds.

5:11pm: There was a lot of talk at the combine that the Pelicans would be hesitant to give up compensation to Chicago in return for the Bulls allowing them to hire Thibodeau, Johnson reports (Twitter link). That doesn’t mean the team will necessarily hire Gentry instead, but it supports the idea that the Pelicans will wait to see how things shake out between the Bulls and Thibs, Johnson tweets.

4:40pm: The Bulls and Thibodeau are still operating as though Thibs remains Chicago’s coach, Stein writes in a full story. Stein still says the sides are widely expected to part ways. It’s unclear just when Gentry’s interview with the Pelicans will take place, Stein notes.

MONDAY, 4:15pm: The Pelicans have received permission from the Warriors to interview assistant coach Alvin Gentry, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Most of the reports regarding the New Orleans vacancy have centered on Tom Thibodeau, so it appears the Pels are expanding their base of candidates. Gentry is reportedly a front-runner for Chicago should the Bulls part ways with Thibodeau, so perhaps the Pelicans’ interest in Gentry is brinksmanship of sorts to entice the Bulls to let Thibs go for minimal compensation, though that’s just my speculation.

Gentry has reportedly drawn interest from the Nuggets and Magic, too, as he helps head coach Steve Kerr guide the Warriors toward a title. The sought-after candidate has made it clear he enjoys coaching in Golden State even though he’d like to return to a head coaching capacity. Gentry is a veteran of parts of 12 seasons as an NBA head coach with the Heat, Pistons, Clippers and Suns. He took Phoenix, where he made his last head coaching stop, to the Western Conference Finals in 2009. Gentry left a job as an assistant for the New Orleans franchise, then known as the Hornets, after one season in 2004 to join Mike D’Antoni‘s staff with the Suns, as Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic points out (on Twitter).

New Orleans was reportedly waiting for clarity on Thibodeau’s situation with the Bulls as of last week. There’s apparent mutual interest between Thibs and the Pelicans, and a pair of reports Friday indicated that if he’s not coaching in Chicago, he’ll most likely end up on the Pelicans bench. However, his contract with the Bulls runs through 2016/17, so Chicago controls his fate if he wants to coach in the NBA anytime soon. Thibodeau isn’t about to walk away from the money remaining on his deal, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link), an amount Stein last week pegged at close to $9MM. Still, Johnson suggests it’s possible that Thibodeau will sit out next season if the Bulls indeed decide to go with someone else.

And-Ones: Max Players, Clippers, Bulls, Payrolls

May 22 at 3:33pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The benefits to this summer’s max-level free agents of signing a short-term deal to re-enter free agency when the cap surges in the next couple of years outweigh the risks, argues Louis Roxin of RealGM. A couple of executives who spoke to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders take the opposite viewpoint, arguing that the specter of a decline in production, a major injury, or both make it too difficult to pass up a four- or five-year deal (Twitter links). Of course, team executives probably want to avoid paying a premium if they can avoid it, but how it all plays out this summer will be fascinating to watch. Here’s more from around the league:

  • Clippers reserve Dahntay Jones insists there’s no rift between DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul, as had been reported, telling TMZ that everyone on the team is united in their desire for Jordan to re-sign in free agency this summer. “Those guys are brothers, man,” Jones said of Jordan and Paul. “They sit with each other on the plane, on the bus. If you don’t like a guy you stay away from him.”
  • The Bulls front office was miffed when Tom Thibodeau left his last contract extension unsigned for months and think he hasn’t given them enough credit for building the roster, while some in the organization feel the coach wants more power, as Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com hears. Friedell provides a timeline of the breakdown in the relationship between the coach and the Chicago brass.
  • The Nets have the highest 2014/15 payroll, but their paltry $351K in money to the waived Brandon Davies pales in comparison to the $24.8MM the crosstown Knicks spent on six players no longer on the roster, including Amar’e Stoudemire, as Pincus examines.

Southwest Notes: Gentry, Gasol, Mavs

May 22 at 8:59am CDT By Chuck Myron

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr confirmed Thursday that lead assistant Alvin Gentry has interviewed for the Pelicans head coaching job, as Kerr told reporters, including Antonio Gonzalez of The Associated Press. Kerr said he’s OK with Gentry taking time to interview on off days, Gonzalez notes, and a source close to Gentry told John Reid of The Times-Picayune that it appears as though Gentry will again interview with New Orleans after Golden State’s season is over. Here’s more from around the Southwest Division:

  • Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger feels as though Marc Gasol has essentially already made up his mind about what he’ll do in free agency, but he’ll head to Spain sometime soon to pitch the All-NBA First Team center on re-signing with the Grizzlies, notes Geoff Calkins of The Commercial Appeal in a subscription-only piece. The Grizzlies don’t seem too nervous, but Gasol isn’t giving any promises, and his departure would be a devastating blow to the franchise, Calkins argues.
  • Count GM Chris Wallace among those in the Grizzlies organization with confidence in Gasol’s return. “I firmly believe we will re-sign Marc Gasol this summer,” Wallace said on WHBQ-AM radio, according to host Peter Edmiston (Twitter link).
  • Unless the Mavericks can lure Gasol or DeAndre Jordan to Dallas this summer, they should prioritize re-signing Tyson Chandler, as Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News believes.
  • A panel of ESPN.com writers, in an Insider-only piece, agree that the Pelicans coaching job is more attractive than a would-be opening for the Bulls and that New Orleans should look to re-sign Omer Asik this summer.

Eastern Notes: Hornets, Noel, Heat

May 21 at 7:50pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Nerlens Noel is the current face of the Sixers, but he isn’t worried about being traded the way Michael Carter-Williams, the last potential franchise cornerstone, was, Mike Sielski of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. “No, no, no – that’s not on my mind at all,” Noel said. “I’m focused on helping build this team on the right path, building with the right coach, and bringing in young guys so we can really make a wave. I have a lot of confidence in Sam [Hinkie]. He hasn’t failed us so far. Joel‘s [Embiid] healthy and looking great – great. He’s moving well. I feel good. I’m healthy. We’re moving forward, and things are in place. I feel good about everything.

Here’s more out of the Eastern Conference:

  • If the Hornets can’t redeem the No. 9 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft for an impact player who can score, the franchise needs to trade away assets for draft picks and become worse so they can become better in the long run, opines Tom Sorensen of The Charlotte Observer.
  • The Heat owe a total of six draft picks (three first-round picks and three second-round picks) over the next seven years as the result of previous trades, with none due from other teams, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel points out. This makes it absolutely vital for Miami to select an impact player with the No. 10 overall pick in this year’s draft, Winderman adds.
  • One of the factors involved in the recent shakeup of the Raptors‘ coaching staff was the slow growth curve of former No. 5 overall pick Jonas Valanciunas, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com writes.
  • Many scouts and executives believe that the depth in the 2015 NBA Draft is between the mid-first round and late first round, right where the Bulls are slated to pick at No. 22 overall, Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com writes.

James, Curry, Harden Lead All-NBA Teams

May 21 at 10:32am CDT By Chuck Myron

LeBron James and Stephen Curry finished atop the voting for the All-NBA Teams, with James Harden, Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol joining them on the first team, the league announced via press release. Russell Westbrook, LaMarcus Aldridge, Chris Paul, Pau Gasol and DeMarcus Cousins comprise the second team. Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Tim Duncan, Klay Thompson and Kyrie Irving make up the third team.

Curry, the league’s MVP, and James each received 645 points through a system in which five points are awarded a first team vote, three points go for a second team vote and one point is given for a third team vote. The duo garnered 129 first team votes each, making them unanimous first team selections. They were followed closely by Harden, with 125 first team votes and 637 points, and Davis, who had 119 first team votes and 625 points. Marc Gasol, who’s heading into free agency, wasn’t as widely seen as a first-teamer by the media members who cast their ballots, rounding out the squad with 65 first-team votes and 453.

Every member of the second team received at least one first team vote, and Thompson and Irving were the only members of the third team not to get a first team vote. Al Horford also received a first team vote even though he didn’t make any of the teams. The NBA will soon display the votes of each media member on its website, but the league has already distributed the information via press release, so click here to check it out in PDF form.

Melvin Hunt’s Chances At Nuggets Job Improving

May 20 at 2:45pm CDT By Chuck Myron

2:45pm: The Nuggets are “not an option” for Thibodeau, sources tell Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, though it’s unclear if there’s a lack of interest from Denver’s side, from Thibodeau’s, or both.

12:46pm: The odds that the Nuggets will formally fill their head coaching vacancy with interim coach Melvin Hunt are getting better, though Mike D’Antoni remains in the mix, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Scott Brooks has dropped out of the running, as Adrian Wojnarowski reported today, and while the field of potential coaching candidates remains wide, the emergence of the Pelicans on the coaching market last week has given Denver more competition.

The Nuggets are apparently willing to spend, as Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post heard, and it’s believed that Tom Thibodeau is the front-runner if he becomes available, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. Of course, Thibs appears to be the front-runner elsewhere, too, so there are plenty of obstacles between the Nuggets and him. Alvin Gentry is a Nuggets candidate, too, but he’s already interviewed with the Pelicans, according to Wojnarowski. Gentry’s also an apparent favorite to replace Thibodeau in Chicago if he and the Bulls indeed part ways. Michael Malone, Scott Skiles, Fred Hoiberg and David Vanterpool are others who’ve been in contention for the job, as Wojnarowski reported last month.

The team’s search was to have intensified within the last couple of weeks, Dempsey wrote earlier this month, though it still seemed likely then that it would run through May. The Nuggets apparently prefer a veteran, according to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News, but GM Tim Connelly said last month that the team would indeed consider Hunt, who had never held an NBA head coaching job before taking over for the fired Brian Shaw in March.

D’Antoni has spent parts of a dozen seasons, including one with Denver, as an NBA head coach, and Stein first identified him as a likely candidate in the immediate wake of Shaw’s dismissal. Other names that surfaced at that time include Mark Jackson, Adrian Griffin, Avery Johnson, Vinny Del Negro, Nate McMillan, Pelicans assistant Brian Gates and Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga, though there hasn’t been much to advance the idea that any of them are indeed in the picture for Denver.

Leonard, Green, Allen Lead All-Defensive Teams

May 20 at 1:17pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Kawhi Leonard, Draymond Green, Tony Allen, DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul comprise this year’s All-Defensive First Team, the NBA announced via press release. Anthony Davis, Jimmy Butler, Andrew Bogut, John Wall and Tim Duncan are on the second team. Bogut’s selection is perhaps most important, since he triggers a bonus worth 15% of his nearly $12.973MM salary for this season, giving him approximately $1.946MM in extra pay. It also means his cap hit for next season jumps to $13.8MM instead of $12MM, since the bonus will fall in the category of a likely bonus. Still, the extra $1.8MM wouldn’t count against the tax next season unless Bogut again plays in 65 games and makes an All-Defensive team.

Leonard was the leading vote-getter from the media members who cast the ballots, which is no surprise, since he also won the Defensive Player of the Year award. The latest honor is further ammunition for a max contract this summer from the Spurs, though it appears he and San Antonio were already set to quickly agree to terms on one come July. Green and Jordan are also soon-to-be free agents on the first team, while Butler and Duncan are heading to free agency from the second team.

Davis, who’s eligible for a rookie scale extension this summer, topped the voting among second-teamers. The balloting went by a points system in which two points were awarded for a first team vote and one point for a second. Rudy Gobert, who received five first team votes, garnered the most points among those who missed the cut for both teams. LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Avery Bradley, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Klay Thompson, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley were others who garnered multiple first team votes but didn’t make it on either team. Click here to see how each media member voted.

Offseason Outlook: Chicago Bulls

May 19 at 10:00am CDT By Chuck Myron

Guaranteed Contracts

Non-Guaranteed Contracts

Options

Restricted Free Agents/Cap Holds

  • Jimmy Butler ($5,021,870) — $4,433,683 qualifying offer

Unrestricted Free Agents/Cap Holds

Draft Picks

  • 1st Round (22nd overall)

Cap Outlook

  • Guaranteed Salary: $60,160,202
  • Non-Guaranteed Salary: $1,435,480
  • Options: $2,854,940
  • Cap Holds: $12,399,828
  • Total: $76,850,450

Most Bulls fans would probably have been ecstatic if you told them a year ago that their team would sign a free agent who’d score 18.5 points per game this season, that Nikola Mirotic would finish second in Rookie of the Year Voting, and that Derrick Rose would play in every playoff game. Add that Jimmy Butler would take a massive leap offensively, average 20.0 PPG, and win the Most Improved Player award, and those fans might have begun scouting locations in Grant Park for the championship celebration. Instead, a cloud of gloom seems to hang over the franchise in spite of all the positives that happened in the past year. Management is nearing an ugly split with coach Tom Thibodeau, and the sting of a missed opportunity in the playoffs is such that it’s left some, including Grantland’s Zach Lowe, to wonder if we’ve seen the last of the Bulls as we know them.

NBA: Playoffs-Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

What seems almost certain now is that Thibodeau won’t be back. Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg appears to be the team’s first choice to replace the former Coach of the Year, but Hoiberg is only a month removed from open heart surgery, and there’s some doubt that he wants to embrace the NBA pressure for this coming season. One source told Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck that Warriors assistant Alvin Gentry is the favorite for the job, but he’s tied up with Golden State’s run for a title, and there’s no telling if he wants to try to work with a front office that apparently can’t get along with the well-respected Thibs. Bulls lead assistant Adrian Griffin is an intriguing in-house candidate, but he’s never been a head coach on any level.

Whoever coaches the Bulls next season will likely have to reckon with the notion that as strong Chicago’s roster is, Cleveland’s seems even stronger. The Cavs beat the Bulls without Kevin Love and Anderson Varejao for the entire series, without J.R. Smith for the first two games, and without whatever asset they’re poised to reap from the unusually valuable Brendan Haywood contract. Pau Gasol, that 18.5 PPG scorer the Bulls picked up in free agency last summer, turns 35 in July. Executives around the league apparently aren’t convinced that Joakim Noah will ever again be healthy enough to perform at his peak level. Rose looked at times like his pre-injury self in the playoffs and averaged 20.3 points per game, but he missed 31 regular season games and he, too, doesn’t appear capable of regaining all that he once had.

The good news for the Bulls is that they have the power to retain Butler for at least next season, and at least the next three seasons barring the thoroughly unlikely outcome that Butler signs his qualifying offer, worth slightly less than $4.434MM. The Bulls can preclude any opposing team from tendering an offer sheet like the one Chandler Parsons signed in 2014, which includes a player option after year two, if they make a maximum qualifying offer alongside Butler’s standard qualifying offer. The maximum qualifying offer is a five-year guaranteed deal for the max with full 7.5% raises and no option clauses. It sounds like the Bulls already have that kind of offer in mind anyway, and executive VP of basketball operations John Paxson has said Chicago will match all other offers, so Butler seems destined to remain with the Bulls for the foreseeable future.

Still, even securing Butler this summer will come with a tinge of regret for the team, since he and agent Happy Walters would reportedly have been willing to settle for an extension with salaries between $12.5MM and $13MM this past fall, when the team held the line at $11MM a year. The starting salary in a new max deal for Butler would likely approach $16MM. Sign Butler to the max, and Chicago’s staring at some $76MM in guaranteed salary for only eight players on the roster. That doesn’t include starting small forward Mike Dunleavy, who’s hitting unrestricted free agency, Kirk Hinrich‘s nearly $2.9MM player option, or the team’s draft pick this year, which comes at No. 22. The tax line is projected to be $81.6MM, and owner Jerry Reinsdorf isn’t known to be enthusiastic about shelling out extra money on his payroll. Reinsdorf might be particularly eager to keep costs in check after paying $13.549MM to the amnestied Carlos Boozer this year on top of the team’s more than $67.4MM in cap hits.

Chicago has little recourse to avoid the tax unless it feels as though an alternative to Dunleavy at small forward is already on the roster or unless it pulls off a salary-clearing trade. Doug McDermott didn’t win Thibodeau’s confidence in his rookie season, averaging 8.9 minutes per game across only 36 appearances, but last year’s 11th overall pick still holds promise as a potential solution at the three spot. Tony Snell showed improvement as he took on an increased role this past season, so perhaps he’s ready to take another leap into the starting lineup on the wing alongside Butler. Chicago could go big and start Mirotic or Taj Gibson at the three, though that would be a rather radical move in today’s NBA.

Gibson’s name comes up more often in trade speculation than in suggestions that he should start these days after his playing time receded this year. That reduced burn was largely a function of the acquisitions of Gasol and Mirotic, since there are only so many frontcourt minutes to go around. Still, his PER held steady at 16.1, virtually mirroring last season’s 16.0, a number he posted amid the most expansive role of his career as the Bulls de-emphasized Boozer. Gibson’s $8.5MM salary and his ability to start for another team make him a logical trade candidate, and the Bucks and Raptorsamong others, seemed interested. However, talks never appeared to get very far, signaling that Chicago didn’t have much inclination to part with him.

Another mechanism of breaking up the frontcourt logjam would be to move Gasol, whose trade value may never be higher than it is now in the wake of a renaissance season. His contract is ostensibly even more attractive to opposing teams than Gibson’s is, as it calls for him to make nearly $7.449MM next season with a player option worth almost $7.77MM in 2016/17. That would make him a fit for a team even if he were only playing at the level of a rotation-caliber reserve. However, the Bulls would be stuck paying a trade kicker worth $1,117,314 if they were to trade Gasol this summer, and it’s difficult to envision another team coming up with a fair package in exchange that would lessen Chicago’s salary burden for next season.

Trading Noah is another possibility, but not one that seems like it would be all that attractive to the Bulls, either. Chicago would be selling low on the 2013/14 All-NBA First Team center who’s been as much a part of the fabric of the Bulls as anyone. The continued presence of Noah would help keep the locker room together amid transition from Thibodeau to the next coach. Noah’s contract is up after next season, so if he fails to return to top form, the Bulls wouldn’t have any further commitment tying them to him.

Noah’s deal coming off the books isn’t the only reason why the team will have much more flexibility after next season than it does after this one. The sudden jump in the salary cap and the tax line will make it much easier for the Bulls to avoid tax penalties, meaning that a venture into the tax this season would set up as a one-year phenomenon that wouldn’t put the team in line to pay repeat-offender penalties anytime soon. Chicago has only paid the tax once in its history, and this season’s Boozer payment has been an added burden. Still, the league’s $24 billion TV deal brings the promise of greater revenue than ever, and with it, the capacity for owners to shell out even more for talent, even on top of what the rising salary cap will compel them to pay.

Ultimately, the decision about whether to make a concerted effort to avoid the tax or to move in the other direction and keep the team intact may well rest largely in the front office’s read on the degree of separation between this team’s title chances in the next few years and those of the Cavs. It’s conceivable that Paxson and GM Gar Forman will conclude that this roster just isn’t capable of scaling those last hurdles to a championship. The apparent urge to move on from Thibodeau is either a signal from management that it feels like another coach would help bring the team that extra step closer or that the club has to rebuild to some degree and thus it isn’t worth putting up with whatever it is Thibs does that’s so irksome. Last year, the Bulls looked outside of themselves, to Carmelo Anthony, to Love and finally to Gasol, to move ahead. The summer ahead will be a time for Chicago to look inward, and it’ll say much about the way the Bulls perceive themselves.

Cap Footnotes

1 — The Bulls waived Hamilton in July 2013 and used the stretch provision to spread his remaining guaranteed salary over the next three seasons.
2 — Moore’s salary becomes fully guaranteed if he remains under contract through July 25th.
3 — Bairstow’s salary is partially guaranteed for $425K.
4 — The cap hold for Hinrich would be $5,190,800 if he opts out.

The Basketball Insiders Salary Pages were used in the creation of this post.

Wiggins, Mirotic, Noel Lead All-Rookie Teams

May 18 at 1:11pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Andrew Wiggins was a unanimous All-Rookie First-Team selection, the league announced as it revealed the media voting results for the honors. Nikola Mirotic was the second-leading vote-getter, followed by Nerlens Noel, Elfrid Payton and Jordan Clarkson, all of whom comprise the first team. Marcus Smart, Zach LaVine, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jusuf Nurkic and Langston Galloway make up the second team.

Wiggins far outpaced all other contenders for Rookie of the Year honors after averaging 16.9 points in 36.2 minutes per game this season for the Timberwolves, who acquired the 2014 No. 1 overall pick in the Kevin Love trade. Minnesota, which finished with the league’s worst record this season and has a 25% chance to win the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, is the only team to place two players on the All-Rookie teams, with LaVine on the second team despite having garnered 22 first-team votes. Every member of the second team received at least three first-team votes.

Payton, the 10th overall selection, is the only first-round pick from 2014 to appear on the first team. Mirotic was a draft-and-stash selection from 2011, Noel was the sixth overall pick in 2013 but qualified as a rookie this season because he sat out all of 2013/14 with injury, and Clarkson was the 46th pick last year, having gone overlooked through all of the first round and half of the second.

Galloway made the second team despite having gone undrafted and not having made his debut until January 7th, after he had signed a 10-day contract with the Knicks. New York followed up with another 10-day deal and finally a multiyear pact for the surprisingly effective point guard.