Chicago Bulls

Wade, Rondo Take Leadership Roles

  • Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo have taken leadership roles in the Bulls’ early practices, Sam Smith of reports. They have already done some on-court counseling to their younger teammates and that’s an encouraging development for a team that suffered through chemistry problems last season, Smith adds. “You just want to cut down all the chatter,” Rondo told Smith. “Only a couple of guys should be talking in practice. As far as disrupting, when they do stop practice coach has the voice, then assistant coach has the voice and then the other players.”

Bulls GM: Rose Trade Was "Basketball Decision"

  • Speaking to reporters on Monday, Bulls GM Gar Forman reiterated that the decision to trade Derrick Rose was a “basketball decision,” reports Nick Friedell of Although Rose’s sexual assault civil case has been in the news recently, Forman stressed that Chicago’s decision wasn’t influenced by the point guard’s legal situation.

Wade Believes He Has Something To Prove

Now that the shock waves have died down over his move from Miami to Chicago, Dwyane Wade wants to prove he can still be an elite player in a new environment, writes Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. After a contract standoff with the Heat, Wade surprised the NBA in July by agreeing to a two-year, $47MM deal with the Bulls. When Chicago opens camp this week, it will be the first time Wade has been with a team other than Miami in his 13-year career. “When I don’t have anything else left to prove, then I don’t need to play the game of basketball,” Wade said. “I want to prove I’m out of my comfort zone. I’m in a totally different environment, a totally different system. This is a challenge for me, at this stage of my career. Leave it up to me to put myself in a challenge and not just fade to black in the comfortableness of Miami.”

Bulls Notes: Felicio, Hoiberg, Wade, Dinwiddie

Chicago’s offseason moves should give Cristiano Felicio an opportunity for more playing time, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. The 6’10” Brazilian center appeared in just 31 games with the Bulls during his rookie season and spent much of the year with Canton in the D-League. However, he stood out as part of Chicago’s summer league squad that won a championship in Las Vegas. The Bulls lost both Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol in free agency over the summer. Robin Lopez, who was acquired from the Knicks in the Derrick Rose trade, is the only true center on Chicago’s roster, which could mean a lot more playing time for Felicio. “I learned so much because the Bulls last year, they had a lot of big guys and they were always talking to me and giving me tips,” he said. “It was my first year and I didn’t know what to expect through the season and they were always talking to me, telling me what to do and what not to do in the NBA. It for sure helped me a lot in my first year.”

There’s more news out of Chicago:

  • Coach Fred Hoiberg once again seems to have a roster that doesn’t fit his preferred style of play, according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. Hoiberg promised a pace-and-space system when he became head coach, but he hasn’t been given the outside shooters to make that work. This summer’s top two additions, Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo, are both more slashers than shooters. The only change in Hoiberg’s staff was the addition of Dr. Wendy Borlabi as a “high performance coach” who is focused on the mental aspects of the game.
  • Bulls management has talked about limiting Wade’s minutes during the regular season so he can be more effective in the playoffs, Johnson writes in the same story. The Heat did the same thing last year, as Wade averaged a career-low 30.5 minutes and stayed healthy enough to play in 74 games. “In Miami, Coach Spo [Erik Spoelstra] wanted me to play 30 minutes a game in the regular season, and when he told me that the year before, I wasn’t on board,” Wade said. “But [in 2015-16], he wound up doing it and it was successful for me. Every year is different. I work very hard, man. I just need to take care of my body, especially as I get older. I always have the mentality that I’ll do whatever for my team that I need to do. But I’m not trying to play 40 minutes.”
  • Spencer Dinwiddie probably comes into camp as the favorite to back up Rondo at point guard, according to Sam Smith of Dinwiddie, whom the Bulls traded for, waived and re-signed over the summer, will get competition from rookie Denzel Valentine and Jerian Grant.

Bulls Sign Thomas Walkup

The Bulls continue to fill out their training camp roster, signing former Stephen F. Austin wing Thomas Walkup to a deal. Walkup himself broke news of the agreement, publishing a photo on Instagram that showed him signing his first NBA contract (hat tip to HoopsHype).

“Signed my first NBA contract today,” Walkup wrote on Instagram. “So many people that helped me get to this point. Chicago Bulls training camp starting Monday!”

Walkup, 23, averaged 18.1 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 4.5 APG, and 2.1 SPG during his senior year at Stephen F. Austin, earning Southland Conference player of the year honors for a second consecutive season. He went undrafted in June.

Details of Walkup’s agreement with the Bulls aren’t known, but a non-guaranteed summer contract seems likely. Chicago currently has 13 players on its roster with guaranteed salaries, and five with non-guaranteed deals. Walkup figures to become the sixth, joining Spencer Dinwiddie, Cristiano Felicio, Vince Hunter, J.J. Avila, and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera as camp invitees competing for a 15-man roster spot.

Contract Details: Smith-Rivera, Hunter, Avila

The three camp invitees recently signed by the Bulls got one-year, non-guaranteed summer contracts, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Vince Hunter, and J.J. Avila are therefore probably unlikely to make Chicago’s roster, though they could eventually be ticketed for the team’s new D-League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls.

Bulls Sign J.J. Avila, Vince Hunter

The Bulls continue to fill out their roster for training camp, having signed a pair of free agent forwards to contracts. According to RealGM’s transactions log, J.J. Avila and Vince Hunter have signed with Chicago. Terms of the deals aren’t known, but they will likely be one-year, minimum-salary summer contracts.

[RELATED: Bulls sign D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera]

Avila, who played his college ball at Navy and Colorado State, averaged 16.7 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.8 APG, and 2.0 SPG in his senior year for the Rams, shooting 55.2% from the floor. The 24-year-old went undrafted in 2015, but played for the Rockets in Las Vegas Summer League action last year before joining the Knicks for Summer League play in Orlando this year.

As for Hunter, he also went undrafted in 2015 after a 2014/15 season in which he averaged 14.9 PPG and 9.2 RPG for UTEP. The 22-year-old was in camp last fall with the Kings, but didn’t make Sacramento’s regular-season roster. Hunter did spend a good chunk of last season with the Kings’ D-League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns, in addition to playing for Greek team Panathinaikos.

The Bulls currently have 13 players on guaranteed contracts for the 2016/17 campaign, and have now added five players on non-guaranteed deals, assuming that’s what Avila and Hunter received. The duo should have an opportunity to compete for one of Chicago’s open roster spots, though Spencer Dinwiddie, Cristiano Felicio, and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera will also be in the mix, and the Bulls could still add two more players to their camp roster.

Bulls Sign D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera

SEPTEMBER 16th: The signing is official, per the RealGM transactions log.

SEPTEMBER 15th: The Bulls have taken another step toward filling out their training camp roster, according to Scott Agness of, who reports (via Twitter) that the team has signed former Georgetown guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera to a training camp contract. The deal will likely be a minimum-salary pact featuring little or no guaranteed money.

Smith-Rivera, who will turn 24 in December, initially declared for the 2015 NBA draft, but withdrew his name and returned to his Georgetown for his senior year. In 2015/16, the 6’3″ guard saw his PPG (16.2), FG% (.413), and 3PT% (.330) slip for a third straight season, though he did dish out a career-high 4.5 APG. Smith-Rivera went undrafted this June.

While the Bulls may be planning on having Smith-Rivera join their new D-League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls, Chicago currently only has 13 guaranteed salaries on its books for 2016/17, so the Georgetown alum could get a chance to earn a regular-season roster spot. In addition to those 13 players on guaranteed contracts, the Bulls also have Spencer Dinwiddie and Cristiano Felicio on non-guaranteed deals.

Traded Second-Round Picks For 2017 NBA Draft

The 2017 NBA draft is still more than nine months away, but with the start of the regular season fast approaching, it’s worth taking stock of how this season’s results will affect next year’s draft. Depending on how certain teams perform during the 2016/17 campaign, other clubs will have the opportunity to pick up an extra selection or two.

Earlier this week, we looked at the first-round picks that could change hands during the 2017 draft. A few more first-rounders will likely be involved in trades prior to the trade deadline, or leading up to next year’s draft night, but there are already several picks that are ticketed for new teams, depending on where they land.

That’s even more true of the second round — more than half of the league’s second-round picks for 2017 have been involved in trades so far, and while some of those picks will ultimately remain with the sending teams due to protection conditions, many will move to the receiving teams.

Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the second-round picks that could (or will) change hands. For each selection, we make a note of which team is sending and receiving it, the protection or conditions on the pick, and what will happen if the protection language prevents the pick from being conveyed. For instance, the Heat will send their second-rounder to either the Hawks or Grizzlies, depending on where it lands. The team that doesn’t get a pick from Miami this year will get the Heat’s second-rounder in 2018.

Here are 2017’s traded second-round picks:

Atlanta Hawks

  • From: Brooklyn Nets
  • Protection: None

Atlanta Hawks

  • From: Miami Heat
  • Protection: 31-40
  • If not conveyed: Hawks will receive Heat’s 2018 second-rounder (unprotected).

Boston Celtics

  • From: Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Protection: None

Boston Celtics

  • From: Los Angeles Clippers
  • Protection: None

Boston Celtics

  • From: Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Protection: None

Brooklyn Nets

  • From: Boston Celtics
  • Conditions: Nets will receive pick (protected 31-45) if Celtics swap first-rounders with Nets.
  • If not conveyed: Celtics’ obligation to Nets is extinguished.

Brooklyn Nets

  • From: Indiana Pacers
  • Protection: 45-60
  • If not conveyed: Nets will have opportunity to get Pacers’ second-rounder (protected 45-60) in 2018.

Denver Nuggets

  • From: Memphis Grizzlies
  • Protection: 31-35
  • If not conveyed: Nuggets will receive Grizzlies’ 2018 second-rounder (unprotected).

Denver Nuggets

  • From: Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Protection: 31-35
  • If not conveyed: Nuggets will receive Thunder’s 2018 second-rounder (unprotected).

Houston Rockets

  • From: Denver Nuggets
  • Protection: None

Houston Rockets

  • From: Portland Trail Blazers
  • Protection: None

Memphis Grizzlies

  • From: Miami Heat
  • Protection: 41-60
  • If not conveyed: Grizzlies will receive Heat’s 2018 second-rounder (unprotected).

New Orleans Pelicans

  • From: Philadelphia 76ers
  • Protection: None

New York Knicks

  • From: Chicago Bulls
  • Protection: None

New York Knicks

  • From: Houston Rockets
  • Protection: None

Philadelphia 76ers

  • From: Two of Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, and Utah Jazz.
  • Conditions: Sixers will receive the most and least favorable of these four picks.

Utah Jazz

  • From: Two of Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, and Utah Jazz.
  • Conditions: Jazz will receive the second- and third-most favorable of these four picks, including their own.

The following teams technically acquired second-round draft picks via trade and could receive those selections in 2017. However, these picks are heavily protected and won’t be conveyed to the receiving team unless the sending team finishes with a top-five record in the NBA. If that doesn’t happen, the receiving team is out of luck. The details:

Minnesota Timberwolves

  • From: New Orleans Pelicans
  • Protection: 31-55
  • If not conveyed: Pelicans’ obligation to Timberwolves is extinguished.

Orlando Magic

  • From: Sacramento Kings
  • Protection: 31-55
  • If not conveyed: Kings’ obligation to Magic is extinguished.

San Antonio Spurs

  • From: Atlanta Hawks
  • Protection: 31-55
  • If not conveyed: Hawks’ obligation to Spurs is extinguished.

RealGM’s database of future traded pick details was used in the creation of this post.

Nate Loenser Named D-League Coach

  • Nate Loenser has been the named the head coach of the Bulls’ new D-League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls, the team announced via press release. Loenser was the Chicago Bulls’ video coordinator last season. He’s also coached at Southern Mississippi and Iowa State. Bulls assistant GM Brian Hagen will also serve as Windy City’s GM.

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