The Bulls have finished atop the Central Division with the league's best record the past two seasons, with the Pacers coming in second both times. With the injury to Derrick Rose and the nearly wholesale turnover of Chicago's bench, the door is open for the Pacers to move into first place this year. There are rumblings tonight about a former Pacer who could be headed to a division rival, and a pair of Bulls:
- Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio hears that free agent Leandro Barbosa is open to discussing a move to the Cavs, but it isn't clear whether the team has any interest in the 6'3" combo guard. Barbosa, who finished last season with Indiana, is reportedly seeking a multiyear deal.
- Mark Deeks of ShamSports examines why Marquis Teague, drafted 29th overall by the Bulls, is the only remaining unsigned first-round pick. He believes the team wants to sign him for less than the standard 120% of the rookie scale amount to avoid paying the luxury tax and to give them more flexibility, since the signing of Kirk Hinrich put them under a $74.3MM hard cap this season.
- Deeks also speculates the Bulls will trade Richard Hamilton during the season to avoid having to pay the luxury tax for the first time in franchise history.