The Bulls officially signed veteran center Tristan Thompson on Saturday, adding a former NBA champion to their rotation. Thompson, who is expected to provide depth behind star center Nikola Vucevic, drew praise from new teammate Zach LaVine this weekend.
“He’s going to bring another championship-level guy where he’s been in these games before,” LaVine said, as relayed by Julia Poe of the Chicago Tribune. “He can help us in these situations.”
Chicago is tied with Miami for the best record in the East at 38-21. The team won its final five games entering the All-Star break and has added Vucevic, Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso and others over the last calendar year.
“With AK [Arturas Karnisovas] and Marc [Eversley], obviously, they’re going for it,” LaVine said of the Bulls’ front office. “They trust in me, they trust in DeMar, they trust in this group, and it just means a lot going into the last year of my contract that they’re putting a team around us that can compete.’’
There’s more from the Central Division tonight:
- Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton finally enjoyed his Rising Stars moment on Friday, Scott Agness of FieldHouse Files examines. The 21-year-old was acquired by Indiana before this season’s trade deadline. In four games, he’s averaged 20.8 points and 11.0 assists per contest.
- Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen has enjoyed every moment of All-Star Weekend, Kelsey Russo of The Athletic writes. Allen is a major reason why Cleveland owns the fourth-best record in the East at 35-23. This is his first All-Star appearance. “It’s still a lot to take in,” Allen said. “I don’t think I’ve fully grasped the moment that I’m in. I’m part of the top 24 players in the NBA at this All-Star Weekend, so I’m just excited, I’m ready to take it all in and just absorb every moment. It’s been a one-of-a-kind weekend that I wouldn’t trade for anything.”
- Suns head coach Monty Williams is happy to see Jalen Smith get a new opportunity with the Pacers, as relayed by James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star (Twitter link). Smith was traded from Phoenix to Indiana earlier this month. “I’m happy for him,” Williams said as part of a larger quote. “He’s a guy that worked his tail off every single day with us. He just couldn’t crack the rotation.” Smith has appeared in four games with the Pacers, averaging 12.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in 21 minutes per contest.
11 thoughts on “Central Notes: LaVine, Thompson, Haliburton, Allen, Williams, Smith”
the All Star game is so boring. NBA is doomed when Lebron is gone. hes the last guy who has that superstar aura like MJ and Kobe had. new crop of talent are good but dont have that charisma
Actually, NBA games will be a lot better when he and his buddies retire.
We already see those teams that are winning playing team basketball – teammates working with one another and their coaches – making the extra pass, playing team defense, etc.; as opposed to playing playground ball.
This era of stacking a team with 2 or 3 stars – who now pout with one another as they all want the team to revolve around them – are already being outplayed.
Young fans that are looking for entertainment as opposed to sport are going to be forced to watch smart, team basketball; and when they do a good portion will realize what a wonderful team sport basketball is.
Players like LeBron are pretty rare but somebody will step up. Giannis isn’t too far off. Hopefully Zion gets his body right he’s got the potential. I’m not his biggest fan but Trae is marketable especially when he jumps ship for a bigger market, he just has a certain swag. Luka is already very popular worldwide. If the Celtics make a couple more deep runs I could see the NBA getting behind a marketing push for Tatum.
I’ve been watching the game since the Days of Bird and Magic when they were larger than life. Then came Jordan, later Shaq and Kobe then LeBron. Someone always steps up.
Why didn’t Monty Williams just play Smith?
Ja Morant is more to watch than Lebron has ever been. The NBA will be better without James.
For years now LeBron thinks he’s a talk show host. He shows up for press conferences daily, and he always has another observation to draw attention to himself. He’s always put himself first with the (stacked) team he’s currently playing for and the NBA second. And the media eats it up.
It’ll be good to get back to basketball.
Those evil press conferences prove it. People talk in them.
Geez! I know it’s almost like LeBron signed an agreement to be available for questions when the media asks for him or something. Oh yeah! It’s in his contract just every other player in the league.
Hmmm. Lavine can’t seem to be able to play in the Bulls last 5 games b4 the break, But manages to gut it out for the ASG. That’s what I call being the ultimate team guy, That instead of resting up so he’s at his best for the stretch he’s cavorting about making contacts to help his FA contract. So please, spare me how committed he is to the playoffs. It’s all about Zach and always has been.
He had to get his knee looked at…So, he did, while missing a few games, got his results back, and they said he should be okay. He should be able to manage it the rest of the season.
The team gave LaVine their blessing to go to the ASG. They just didn’t want him playing 30 minutes, which he played some of the fewest minutes of anyone out there…
The ASG is a big deal to some, especially guys like LaVine that have had to constantly prove they belong..
Happy for him, and after the break look for him to come back to work, and help guide this Bulls team to a playoff run..
At least someone else here gets it. Guy cares about himself. Bulls have no future with this core, sorry to say.