One possible silver lining of the Chicago's elimination at the hands of the Heat is that it'll lead to an upswing in Bulls content on Hoops Rumors. Since the Bulls' Game Five loss, we've already heard that the team is expected to buy outRichard Hamilton this summer, and a number of other articles on Chicago's offseason have popped up since then. Here are a handful of them:
Acknowledging that there might be "limited space" for him, Nate Robinson says he'd love to return to the Bulls next season, according to Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com. Presumably, Robinson isn't referring to limited roster spots, but rather the limited cap flexibility the Bulls have to offer him a raise.
In a separate piece, Friedell examines which players on the current roster will return to the Bulls next season, concluding that Robinson is probably gone. Friedell also expects the team to replace several bench players, and suggests that former Bulls and free-agents-to-be Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer could be good fits.
Despite ongoing criticism directed at Derrick Rose for not returning to action yet after being medically cleared nearly two months ago, the Bulls superstar remains unfazed, primarily because he doesn't put himself in a position to hear about any of it, observes Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. As for the theory that the "Rose camp" - whether it involves his brother Reggie, Adidas, or agent B.J. Armstrong - has decided to keep him out of action, Rose dispelled the notion, telling Cowley, “Who said that? If anything, it’s up to me...My brother and them can’t tell me what to do with my body. They give me control. I’m in control of the whole process. It’s really all on me.’’ Rose also mentions that he's still trying to prepare himself mentally for a return and downplayed the idea that the Bulls have put pressure on him to make haste on a comeback. Here's more out of the Eastern Conference tonight:
Last night, Cavs guard Kyrie Irving was asked if he'd be disappointed to see coach Byron Scottgo and essentially issued a no comment. Scott is definitely on the hot seat as the season comes to a close, but will he survive? Here's more on that and other notes out of the Central..
Scott could be hanging on to his job with his fingertips, writes Bob Finnan of The News-Herald (on Twitter). While many people are weighing in on whether Scott should keep his job, the only opinions that truly matter are those of Cavs majority owner Dan Gilbert and GM Chris Grant. However, they're not saying anything publicly either. If they make a move, Finnan suggests that Nate McMillanand Stan Van Gundy would be strong candidates.
Tom Van Riper of Forbes released a list of the NBA's most overpaid players and ranked the Pistons' Corey Maggette sixth. Van Riper notes that Maggette has never played a full 82-game season in his 14-year career and even though he can score, he has career averages of 4.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 45% shooting. The Knicks' Carmelo Anthony is at the very top of the list, which is especially surprising given his recent play.
Thunder reserve Ronnie Brewer tells Shams Charania of RealGM he thinks that "it was unfortunate" that the Bulls announced Derrick Rose was cleared to play, elaborating that being 110% mentally ready is just as important as being physically ready: "I don’t think anybody really knows...I don’t think the doctors know. I don’t think any of the players know. Whatever it is, I don’t think he should rush back and not be confident to play, because if you’re not playing with confidence, then everything goes out the window.”
Here's more out of the Eastern Conference tonight:
There was some confusion about Kyrie Irving's status coming out of Cavaliers camp today, as forward Luke Walton hinted that Irving could be coming back soon shortly after Byron Scott told the media that there weren't any updates on the second year point guard (other than he was getting shots up at practice). Jodie Valade of the Plain Dealer clarifies that Irving has been working out hard before games and made note that he has reached the third week of a three-to-four week recovery period since spraining his shoulder earlier this month.
During tonight's game between the 76ers and Bobcats, Dei Lynam of CSN Philly caught up with Allen Iverson, who says: "If the road ends here (with regard to not playing again), I'm fine with it...I'm happy and content with everything that's going on in my life...If I get a chance to play again, then I would love the opportunity, but if not, I would continue to just be happy."
Tom Moore of Philly Burbs looks at the options that Philadelphia has this offseason, whether it involves making a significant signing and filling out the roster with minimum contracts, dangling Spencer Hawes, Lavoy Allen, or possibly Evan Turner in trade talks, or look at one-year deals as a means of maintaining flexibility the following summer.
Here are a few more odds and ends to round up the latest on the Association tonight:
Scott Bordow of AZ Central writes that the interim tag on Lindsey Hunter as the Suns head coach will remain for the rest of the season. GM Lon Babby says that the team will wait until the summer to determine Hunter's future.
Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State suffered a sprain in his right wrist during the team's exit from the NCAA tournament today, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo. Though Smart struggled during the game, one scout maintained that the 6'4" guard is a top 5 prospect and would be "crazy" to not declare for the draft this year (Twitter link). ESPN's Chad Ford tweeted that Smart is still not a lock to leave and is contemplating a return to school next year.
In an ESPN Insider article, Ford says that University of Miami guard Shane Larkin will not make a decision about his future until after the team's season is officially over.
Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston talks about how rookie center Fab Melo has "come back to earth" a bit after posting up monster numbers in the D-League earlier this year. Though still raw, there is hope that the Celtics' center can use his time in the NBDL to improve his footwork and rebounding.
There are lingering questions about Richard Hamilton being able to return to action for the Bulls this season, notes Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. With regard to the veteran shooting guard's back problems, coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters: "It’s not clearing up right now, so we have to wait.’’
After indulging in his love of soccer to make a cross-sport comparison of LeBron James and Lionel Messi, Marc Stein of ESPN.com delivers his usual assortment of juicy NBA rumors from around the league as part of his Weekend Dime. Here are the highlights:
The Mavs recently tried to free former NBA point guard Bobby Brown from his deal with Italian club Montepaschi Siena, but the potential buyout would have been too costly. Several teams have interest in Brown, 28, who's expected to return to the NBA next season. He's averaging 17.7 points and 4.4 assists this season in Italy.
Raja Bell confirms, as we've heard, that he would have taken a buyout from the Jazz before the March 1st playoff eligibility deadline if he had an offer from another team already lined up, and that the Lakers' concerns about the luxury tax have precluded L.A. from signing him. He also said he's open to joining a team this season even though he wouldn't be eligible for the playoffs.
Had the Nets held on to their first-round draft pick last year instead of trading it away in the Gerald Wallace deal, they likely would have passed on presumptive Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard in favor of Tyler Zeller, since they figured incumbent point guard Deron Williams would re-sign.
Stein takes the Bulls to task for not making it clear that they're OK with Derrick Rose if he doesn't come back this season. Rose is angry that the perception that he's the only one holding up his return has been allowed to build. A source tells Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com that "a lot of people have to sign off" before he could come back.
The last time we saw Derrick Rose in an NBA game was during Game One of the Bulls' opening playoff series against the 76ers last April. After tearing his ACL in that contest, Rose has been rehabbing all year, and has reportedly been medically cleared to return to action. Still, Rose remains uncertain that he'll play this season.
Even though Rose hasn't had any physical setbacks, he still must overcome a number of mental hurdles before he returns to the court. Few, if any, NBA players were able to replicate Rose's explosiveness and aggressiveness in the past, and recapturing that style of play on a surgically-repaired knee won't be easy, if it's possible at all. With just 18 games remaining in the regular season for the Bulls, it's unlikely we'd see Rose back to 100% in time for the postseason, no matter when he makes his 2012/13 debut.
Although the Bulls have publicly stated they aren't pressuring Rose to play, which he confirms, a number of executives around the league have questioned where the story on Rose's medical clearance came from, if not the Bulls. ESPN.com's Chris Broussard spoke to a number of execs about Rose's return, and the general consensus was that Chicago should be deferring to Rose's timetable. If he wants to return for the playoffs, one executive said, he should be given the opportunity, but if anything doesn't feel right, he should be shut down for the season. Another executive suggested that if Rose doesn't return by April 1st, he should probably be shut down.
The Bulls are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference, and with no other teams in the conference currently looming as a legit threat to the Heat, it's easy to argue that a Chicago club with a healthy Rose would immediately become the East's second-best team. But this late in the season, it's unlikely we'll see a Rose that's 100% healthy, so there's certainly some risk in bringing back a franchise player that's signed through 2017.
What do you think? Should Rose try to play before season's end, or should he focus on getting back to full health for 2013/14?
Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony could get his knee drained, according to a tweet from Newsday's Al Iannazzone. But it's probable that this would only occur as a last solution. The knee injury won't force Anthony to miss time in the short term, but it's a situation that's constantly being monitored and reevaluated by the team.