The Bulls’ decision to trade Derrick Rose and let Joakim Noah walk in free agency is already proving to be addition by subtraction, Steve Aschburner of NBA.com opines. Not only did they rid themselves of two oft-injured players but both have created distractions during the preseason, Aschburner continues. Rose has missed practice and game time with the Knicks because of a civil lawsuit involving rape allegations, while Noah has created hard feelings with his behavior at West Point, where New York is holding camp, Aschburner notes. The way Rose managed the timing of his rehabs and returns also created issues in the Bulls’ organization, as did his comments prior to last season that he was looking forward to free agency in 2017, Aschburner adds.
In other developments around the Eastern Conference:
- Wizards power forward Markieff Morris focused this summer on improving his 3-point shot, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post reports. Morris has averaged 32.3% from long range during his career and made 31.6% of his 3-point attempts after he was dealt from the Suns to Washington during last season’s trade deadline. Morris attempted more mid-range shots (265) than any other area on the floor, Buckner notes, but Morris wants to make the 3-point shot a bigger part of his game. “It’s kind of like you have no choice now with the way the league is,” Morris told Buckner. “You got to be able to make that shot at the four. I’ve been working all summer trying to get better at it, continuing to get better at it.”
- Journeyman Toney Douglas is confident he’ll win the backup point guard job with the Cavaliers despite coming to camp with a non-guaranteed contract, Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net writes. Douglas, who played 61 games for the Pelicans last season, joined Cleveland this week and is competing mainly with rookie Kay Felder for that spot. “I’m a veteran player,” he told Amico. “I can play defense, lock up, hit open shots, run the offense and find guys when they’re open. I can do all that.”
- The Heat face a tough decision on point guard Briante Weber, according to Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders. Though Weber has only played in seven NBA games, he has shown enough upside that it will be difficult for the Heat to keep him off the opening-day roster, Taylor continues. Weber also has a partially-guaranteed contract, but veteran Beno Udrih looms as the main backup point man and Josh Richardson should return during the first month of the season from his knee injury, Taylor notes. If Weber is let go, another team would snatch him up quickly, Taylor adds.